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, Bjessed Joan of Arc- 




Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 9240281 61 002 

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* John M. Fablet, D.D. 

AreltMshop of New York. 
Jan. 24, 1910. 


SI £. A. POBD, 1910. 







For the narrative of this story the writer had 
much from which to cull. The books written 
about Joan of Arc make a respectable library in 
themselves. Few lives of great persons are so 
well authenticated by sworn testimony still pre- 
served intact, and easily available. We have 
every detail of her strange career on oath. The 
questions and answers of the Examinations, and 
of the public Trials, and the documents herein 
quoted, are taken from T. Douglass Murray's 
English translation of the original documents 
in the archives of Paris. The only originality 
claimed for this " Story " is its brevity and con- 
nectedness, necessarily it is not much more than 
an outline. "We have tried to give it the proper 
religious and patriotic atmosphere, for Joan of 
Arc was a saint and a patriot of the purest type. 

E. A. F. 


Called by the Lord to defend her country, 
she answers her vocation for an undertaking 
which everybody and she herself deemed im- 
possible; but what is impossible for men is 
always possible with the help of God. Let us 
not exaggerate, then, the diflBculties of doing 
what faith commands us to do, what duty en- 
tails upon us, or the exercise of the fruitful 
apostolate of example, which the Lord expects 
from every one of us. Difficulties come from 
those who create and exaggerate them, from 
those who trust in themselves without the help 
of Heaven, from those who yield in cowardly 
fear to the sneers and derision of the world. 
Hence it is that in our day, more than ever 
before, the chief strength of the wicked lies in 
the cowardice and the weakness of the good, 
and all the force of the kingdom of Satan, 
comes from the apathy of Christians. — Pope 
Pius X to the French tishops and pilgrims on 
the occasion of the Beatification of Joan of 



I. "I was thirteen when I heard a voice from 

God telling me to go and save France. ". . . 9 
II. Joan starts on her mission — "For this was 
I born — to drive the English out of 
France." 30 

III. Her miraculous march to the King — He gives 

her command of the armies of France. . . 35 

IV. She reorganizes the French army and warns 

the English to leave France !i2 

V. " Strike boldly ! God will give the victory! 

On to Orleans ! " 65 

VI. "The stroke of God " — Beginning of the end 
of the hundred years of English oc- 
cupation 83 

VII. The march to Rheims — Joan and the King 

ride in triumph to the Coronation 98 

VIII. "Now let me go back to my poor old mother 
who has need of me." The King de- 
tains Joan as head of his army 115 

IX. France is free — Joan a prisoner of the Eng- 
lish King 133 

X. The lamb in the midst of the wolves. The 

mock trial 151 

XI. " In spinning and sewing I do not fear any 

woman in Rouen." 164 



XII. " If I be not in the state of grace I pray God 

place me in it ITS 

XIII. "I will tell willingly whatever I have per- 

mission from God to reveal." 190 

XIV. She tells her English Judges they will lose 

France forever , 203 

XV. " Let me be taken before the Pope and I will 

answer all I ought toanswer.". 215 

XVI. "I would rather die than be in the hands of 

the English." 233 

XVII. Joan keeps the King's secret — defends her 

male attire — and refuses to acknowledge 

the authority of her judges 245 

XVIII. Joan is cheated into a show of recanting. . . . 261 
XIX. The cruel death scene — The illegal trial ends 

in illegal execution 276 

XX. The official rehabilitation of Joan's character 

after her death 286 

XXI. The Beatification of Joan of Arc by Pius X 

— ' ' Joan of Arc shall be France's Saint. ". 306 



"I was thirteen wten I heard a voice from God telling 
me to go and save France." 

" But the foolish things of the world hath 
God chosen, that He may confound the wise; 
and the weak things of the world hath God 
chosen, that He may confound the strong." 

" And the base things of the world, and the 
things that are contemptible, hath God chosen, 
and things that are not, that He might bring 
to nought things that are." (1 Cor. i-v. 27-28.) 

It is in the light of this lesson from St. Paul 
in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, that we 
must read the wonderful story of Joan of 
Arc if we would properly understand it and 
get the full value of it as a human document, 
as well as a flashing page in national annals, 
and now a precious addition to the treasury of 
the Church. 

" The work wrought by Joan of Arc," said 


the non-Catholic Mark Twain, in his " Personal 
Recollections of Joan of Arc," " may fairly be 
regarded as ranking any recorded in history, 
when one considers the conditions under which 
it was undertaken, the obstacles in the way, 
and the means at her disposal. Caesar carried 
conquest far, but he did it with the trained 
and confident veterans of Rome, and was a 
trained soldier himself; Napoleon swept away 
the disciplined armies of Europe, but he also 
was a trained soldier, and he began his work 
with patriot battalions inflamed and inspired 
by the miracle working new breath of Liberty 
breathed upon them by the Revolution — eager 
young apprentices to the splendid trade of war. 
But, Joan of Arc, a mere child in years, inno- 
cent, unlettered, a poor village girl unknown 
and without influence, found a great nation ly- 
ing in chains, helpless and hopeless under alien 
domination, its treasury bankrupt, its soldiers 
disheartened and dispersed, all spirit torpid, 
all courage dead in the hearts of the people 
through long years of foreign and domestic 
outrage and oppression, its king cowed, re- 
signed to his fate, and preparing to fly the 
country; and she laid her hand upon this na- 
tion, this corpse, and it rose and followed her. 
She led it from victory to victory, she turned 
back the tide of the Hundred Years' War, she 


fatally crippled the English power, and died 
with the earned title of Deliverer of Prance, 
which she bears to this day." 

It is a wonderful story but " he that glorieth 
in it must glory in the Lord " who chose the 
weak girl to drive the English out of France, 
and the ignorant girl to confound the wise 
churchmen and statesmen, that, failing to see 
God's hand in her career persecuted her and 
put her to death. 

" Ah, France had fallen low, so low ! " says 
Mark Twain. " For more than three-quarters 
of a century the English fangs had been bedded 
in her flesh, and so cowed had her armies be- 
come by ceaseless rout and defeat that it was 
said and accepted that the mere sight of an 
English army was sufficient to put a French 
one to flight. * * * Famine, pestilence, slaugh- 
ter, ice, snow — Paris had all these at once. 
The dead lay in heaps about the streets, and 
wolves entered the city in daylight and de- 
voured them." 

At the same time, far off in the little village 
of Domremy, on the Belgian border of France, 
a young girl, poor, innocent, ignorant, was 
chosen by Almighty God to undo all that hor- 
ror, to restore the French people, to their king 
and the king to the people, to drive out the 
English invader and " deal the English a blow 


from which they would not recover in a thou- 
sand years." 

This was Jeanne d'Arc, or, as we say in 
English, Joan of Arc. 

Joan of Arc was born in the pleasant village 
of Domremy on the Belgian border of France, 
on " Little Christmas " Day, January 6, in 
1412. Her parents were humble, honest, work- 
ing people, and her three brothers and little 
sister, as well as herself, were taught to love 
God, to obey the Church, to love their country, 
and to work diligently and contentedly, and 
live in peace and justice with their neighbors. 

In the years that followed Joan's great 
achievement, it became necessary to take the 
testimony of her childhood friends and neigh- 
bors as to her previous character, and this 
testimony was sworn to, duly recorded and 
remains to this day. All the accounts of her 
agree that she was a good, gentle, obedient 
child; cheerful and industrious in her home, 
gay with the gay in the village sports; ever 
compassionate and helpful to the sick and the 

An honest laborer, who came to speak for 
Joan at her second trial long years afterwards, 
gave this simple tribute : " I was then a child 
and it was she who nursed me in my illness." 

And another: 

" I was thirteen when I first heard a voice." 


" I was one of the godfathers of Jeanne. 
She was so good that all the village of Dom- 
remy loved her. She had modest ways, as 
beseemed one whose parents were not rich. 
She followed the usual duties of women, such 
as spinning and she sometimes followed the 
plow if needed. If she were in the fields and 
heard the Mass bell she would go back to the 
village and to church and hear Mass." 

All through her childhood and up to the 
middle of her fourteenth year Joan had been 
the merriest and most light-hearted creature 
in the village of Domremy. Sometimes the 
news of the wars reached the village and so- 
bered her spirits as it did her elders, but Dom- 
remy was remote from the actual scenes, and 
the horrors of the English occupation were not 
brought home to her so vividly. But a change 
came. According to her own testimony: 

" I was thirteen when I first heard a Voice 
coming from God to help me to live well. I 
was frightened. It came at midday in my 
father's garden in the summer. * » * it was 
a noble voice, and I thought it was sent to me 
from God. The third time I heard it I recog- 
nized it as being an angel's." 

The Voice came many times afterwards and 


with it the vision of St. Michael the Arch- 
angel, the warrior angel, and he told her the 
sad story of her suffering country and that it 
was God's will that she be the one to deliver it. 
God had chosen a small thing of the world to 
confound the great 

" You must go to the help of the King of 
France; it is you who shall give him back his 

Strange message from the Prince of the 
soldiers of Heaven to a trembling, unlettered 
little girl ! 

Like the Mother of God, when the angel 
Gabriel came to her to tell her she was to bear 
the Son of God in her womb, Joan was troubled 
and wondered, "How can this be?" 

She knew nothing of arms or soldiers or even 
how to ride a horse or handle a sword. And 
he but repeated to her again and again, " You 
must go into France." He promised her that 
St. Catherine and St. Margaret would come 
to her and tell her what to do. And they came. 
She saw and heard them again and again; in 
soft halos of light, and sweet, loving tones, 
these two martyr saints came to prepare their 
little sister martyr. To encourage and 
strengthen her for the great work she had to 
do. Most of all to fill her with a great love of 


God's will, a great love for her suffering coun- 
try, and a great confidence in her sublime 
mission, without any care for what might 
happen to herself. 

In her descriptions on oath of the appear- 
ances and impressions of these visions and 
voices one gets the idea of their frequency: 

" The "Voice said to me two or three times a 
week, ' You must go into Prance.' " 

One is struck with their gentleness to her, 
and their beautiful appearance, though vague, 
and that they were rather voices than visions. 
Joan always spoke of them as " My Voices." 

She was but thirteen when these revelations 
began. She was seventeen when at last she 
left her father's house and started on her 
mission. During those four years there is no 
record that there was any change in her regu- 
lar domestic life at home, and intercourse with 
her neighbors, beyond a growing seriousness 
that her grovring years demanded. This was 
augmented, no doubt, by the growing serious- 
ness of the national affairs, for even far off 
Domremy felt the scourge of the presence of 
English soldiers ; and " the great pity there is 
in the kingdom of France" was everybody's 

But neither to her parents, nor to the good 


priest of the parish, nor to any of her comrades 
or neighbors could Joan tell the story of her 
call to so wonderful a task. 

Nothing presented as a favoring circum- 
stance to carry out the commands of her Voices. 

The days passed into weeks, the weeks into 
months, and no definite way to carry out the 
will of God with regard to the rescue of France 
from the ever further advancing English came. 
The humble handmaid of God was ready if 
only the way were pointed out. At last the 
voices grew more urgent : 

" You must go into France." 

" Go raise the seige which is being made be- 
fore the city of Orleans." 

" Go to Robert de Baudricourt, Governor of 
Vaucouleurs, he will furnish you with an es- 
cort to accompany you to the King." 

And the opportunity came to the willing in- 
strument. Joan's uncle Laxart, came to 
Domremy on a visit and to him she told her 
secret. She persuaded him to take her to his 
home for a visit in return. 

From there she persuaded him to take her 
to Vaucouleurs to the Governor. She wanted 
only his escort, for decency sake; she would 
do the rest herself. 

This was on Ascension Day, May 13, 1428. 
Joan was sixteen years of age. 


" I am so young to leave my mother and my 
home, and go into the strange world to under- 
take a thing so great. How can I talk with 
men — be comrade with men — soldiers? It 
would give me over to insult and rude usage 
and contempt. How can I go to the great wars, 
and bad armies? I, a girl, and ignorant of 
such things, knowing nothing of arms, nor how 
to mount a horse nor ride it. Yet — if it is 
commanded " — was Joan's final protest to the 
urgent voices of her saints. 


Joan starts on her mission — " For this was I born — to drive 
the English out of France." 

With the increased urgency of her Voices 
came also what seemed the first opportunity to 
act. Her uncle Durand Laxart came on a 
visit to Domremy from his home near Vaucou- 
leurs. To him she opened her heart. She told 
him of the miraculous mission entrusted to her. 
How she was to fulfill it she did not know. 
Only that God would be with her and guide 
and guard her until its consummation. She 
won over the good-hearted old man who knew 
her for a pious, obedient, industrious child. 
Of armies or sieges or crowning of kings he 
knew nothing; but he believed in Joan and 
promised to help her in every way she asked, 
without doubts or questions. This brave, sim- 
ple, old man was heaven's next instrument in 
the saving of France and Europe and the Chair 
of St. Peter, from English domination. For to 
the writer it has always seemed as if this last 
was the real cause of Heaven's interference in 
the military schemes of a people whose national 
policy seemed mainly foreign conquest; and 


whose success in Fraace would make the sub- 
jugation of Italy comparatively easy. 

Joan induced her uncle to take her back with 
him on a visit to his home in Burey right near 
Vaucouleurs. Under cover of this visit to her 
uncle she was to leave Domreny without at- 
tracting any attention. On the way she ex- 
plained to old Laxart : 

" For this was I born — to drive the English 
out of France." 

" I must go to Robert de Baudricourt, the 
Governor of Vaucouleurs and demand of him 
an escort of men at arms, and a letter to the 
king. A year from now a blow will be struck 
which will be the beginning of the end, and 
the end will follow swiftly." 

Joan and her uncle presented themselves at 
the house of the Governor of Vaucouleurs. 
Around the Governor at the time were many 
members of his garrison and oflSteial staff, dis- 
cussing the latest news from the interior, which 
was as usual without any streak of lightning 
about French victories. It was a monoto- 
nous record of the steady advance of the Eng- 
lish army, swallowing one town after another 
in their onward march, leaving in each new 
conquest some of their army for garrison and 
gome of their standards for sign of their occu- 


pation. The capture'of their own Vaucouleurs, 
too, seemed inevitable. 

It was not a very cheerful company around 
the Governor who heard the announcement 
that a young girl was outside begging audience 
with him, who would not tell her business but 
to him. " Bring her in," said Baudricourt. 

At sight of the room full of bravely costumed 
men uncle Laxart became embarrassed, fum- 
bled with his cap and forgot what he wanted to 
say. But the inspired girl in her homespun red 
dress, rough shoes and white coif, came for- 
ward looking at no one but the Governor, whom 
she recognized at once, and said: 

" My message is to you, Robert de Baudri- 
court, Governor of Vaucouleurs, and it is this : 
that you will send and tell the Dauphin to 
wait and not give battle to his enemies yet, 
for God will presently send him help." 

All eyes were riveted on the speaker of such 
a strange message, and for a moment there was 
silence. The Governor scowled : " What non- 
sense is this? The King — or the Dauphin as 
you call him — ^needs no message of that sort. 
He will wait indeed. He has no thought of 
fight. What further have you to say to me?" 

" This : to beg of you to give me an escort 
of men-at-arms and send me to the Dauphin." 

"What for?" 


" That he may make me his General ; for it is 
appointed that I shall drive the English out of 
France, and set the crown upon his head." 

"What! You? You are but a child." 

" Nevertheless, I am appointed to do this 

" Indeed ! And when is all this to happen ? " 

" Next year he will be crowned, and after 
that will remain master of France." 

" Who sent you with these extravagant 
messages ? " 

" My Lord, the King of Heaven." 

The seriousness and sadness of the Gover- 
nor's company had changed to merriment at 
Joan's first words, but now they changed again 
to pity for the " poor demented thing," and 
Baudicourt said to Laxart: 

" Take this mad child home and whip her 
soundly. That is the best cure for her ail- 

Poor Joan ! What could she do but turn and 
go. But ere she went she raised her eyes to the 
Governor's and said sweetly: 

" It is my Lord that has commanded. There- 
fore must I come again and yet again. Then I 
shall have the men-at-arms." 

The Governor said nothing to this, and 
uncle Laxart led her away. 

Joan, disappointed but not discouraged, 


went back to Domremy to wait further what 
God's will had in store for her. Now her story 
was out she made no further reserve, but calmly 
and firmly reiterated when asked, that she had 
a commission from God to help the King and 
France, and that God in His own good time 
would help his willing handmaid to accomplish 
the task she never sought and would fain es- 
cape now if God so willed. 

A hard summer and fall and winter followed 
for Joan. Her father's displeasure at the un- 
natural future his daughter was seeking, her 
mother's patient sympathy which however had 
no understanding in it of her mission, would 
have been hard to bear if her Voices had not 
sustained her. 

Her brothers and former companions could 
DO longer share with her their sports or gay 

Her eyes seemed to look over and beyond 
them ever, as if her wonderful call was always 
in her ears. But she was gentle and patient 
with everybody. Even when an ardent youth 
with her hopeful parents' glad consent, sought 
to take her out of all diflSculties by asking her 
to be his wife, her refusal was kind. So kind 
that he and her parents thought if they got 
the Bishop to command her she would never 
dare hesitate; and once married all would end 


well. Joan was cited before the Bishop; but 
her simple directness saved her; with her eyes 
on the horizon beyond which was her un- 
crowned king, she gave such sweetly courage- 
ous denial to the Bishop that she had ever 
been engaged to this man, the Bishop let her 
go and put no command on her whose path 
was so plainly marked out by heaven already. 

From May, 1428, until the 5th of January, 
1429, Joan spent in trying to reconcile her 
parents and friends to her fate and waiting 
for definite call to action. At last she sought 
her uncle Laxart again. 

" I must go into France. The time is come. 
My Voices are not vague now, but clear, and 
they have told me what I must do. In two 
months I shall be with the Dauphin." 

Once more and for the last time (and she 
knew it) she left her childhood's home. She 
was seventeen now, and though of the poor 
and dressed like them in her rough red dress, 
she had an exalted look on her face and a 
dignity in her carriage, that Baudricourt 
marked well when she again presented herself 
to him, begging him to send her with a proper 
escort to the Dauphin that she might free 

" I must still come to you until you send me 
to the king for so it is commanded me. I dare 


not disobey. I must go to the Dauphin though 
I go on my knees." 

But Baudricourt sent her away with no 
promise of ever granting her request. 

In Baudricourt's council was a noble cava- 
lier, Sieur Jean de Metz, a true soldier, as it 
proved later, who was a silent spectator at 
both meetings of Joan with the Governor. He 
was struck with the tranquillity of Joan's 
courage. Her face and voice and whole atti- 
tude appealed to him, and he was inspired to 
take up her cause. Joan's earnestness was 

The Sieur de Metz was touched with sym- 
pathy to see the little maid's disappointment 
after Baudricourt's second refusal to help her. 
He followed her and questioned her. 

" Is it necessary that you go to the king 
soon? That is I mean — " 

" Before Mid-Lent even though I wear my 
legs to the knees," replied Joan, and the reflec- 
tion of the glory of St. Michael the Archangel 
was on her face and in her clear eyes as she 
turned them on him. 

For a silent moment he gazed down into that 
face and caught somewhat of its holy earnest- 
ness. At length he said : 

" God knows I think you should have the 
men-at-arms, and that something would come 


of it. What is it that you would do? What 
is your hope and purpose?" 

" To rescue France," she said. " And it is 
appointed that I shall do it. For no one else 
in the world, neither kings, nor dukes, nor the 
daughter of the King of Scotland, nor any 
other can recover the kingdom of France, and 
there is no help but in me." 

(The daughter of the King of Scotland was 
to marry the son of the Dauphin and so ally 
the two countries.) 

And seeing the infinite pity in the eyes of the 
nobleman she dropped her own and added 
pathetically : 

" But indeed I would rather spin with my 
poor mother; for this is not my calling; but I 
must go and do it, for it is my Lord's will." 

"Who is your Lord?" 

" He is God." 

" When do you wish to start? " 

" Sooner at once than to-morrow. Sooner 
to-morrow than later." 

Then the Sieur de Metz, Inspired no doubt 
by the kind Heaven that led Joan, knelt, and 
made oath to Joan that by God's help he would 
himself, if no other, lead her to the King. He 
brought his friend and comrade knight, Sieur 
Bertrand de Poulengy, to her also and together 
they pledged themselves her knights hencefor- 


ward, to lead her to the King and to follow her 
lead thereafter. 

But these two strong allies were not the 
Governor and it was the Governor of Vaucou- 
leurs, her Voices said, should send her to the 
king. It was Ascension Day, 1428, when Joan 
went first to Baudricourt. Ten months were 
wasted in trying to win his favorable attention. 

Joan induced her uncle to take lodgings with 
her near the Governor's house, for she knew 
she must see him again and soon. Meantime 
her story got abroad. There had been not one 
syllable of good news for so long in any part 
of France that the word that a maiden had 
come with a commission from Heaven to help 
Orleans and the King, was like a beautiful 
shower after a long, long drought. Everybody 
seized it eagerly and passed it along. They 
may not have placed any faith in it, but it was 
a word of hope and sounded so good to a 
despairing people. 

The whole population of that part of France 
talked of nothing but the angel woman sent 
by God to crown the King and drive out the 

With the people the crowning of the king 
was a most necessary preliminary. They re- 
fused to acknowledge the King of England who 
had been proclaimed in Paris six years before. 


But the Dauphin of France was not king till 
the sacred oil be poured upon his head at 
Rheims. Meanwhile they had no head and 
Joan's promise to crown the king at Rheims 
had great significance for them. Then, too, 
some one revived the old prophesy that said 
France would be lost by a harlot, and regained 
by a maid. 

It was now on every tongue. Did not the 
frivolous Queen of Charles VI sign away the 
right of her son, the Dauphin, to the succession, 
acknowledging the King of England to be King 
of France, thus opening the gates full to the 
English. And here now was a maid come say- 
ing she was sent to crown the Dauphin and 
drive out the English. 

Meantime the siege of Orleans was in prog- 
ress. " The Moscow Campaign of the English 
in France," as Andrew Lang aptly calls it. 
In his excellent work on " The Maid of France," 
he details from English official accounts, the 
gigantic English preparations for the complete 
subjugation of France. The English Treasury 
was emptied to purchase great stores of arms 
and ammunition, and the latest and best ap- 
pliances of military science. 

The men to fight were drafted for six months, 
which was considered ample time now to finish 


the war that had lasted for nearly a hundred 

Orleans was the last real stronghold of the 
French. It was a brave town within a square 
mile of walls of great height and thickness, 
with a coronal of towers, and its river front 
protected by a fort and bridge. 

It was well garrisoned and well provided 
with food and guns, when the siege began on 
October 12, 1428. 

Around the town the English had built forts 
or bastiles connected with each other, impos- 
ing in appearance. There were fully a dozen 
of these commanding all approaches to the city. 

Between all of these in turn and the besieged 
city a series of skirmishes was kept up all 
through the months of October and November, 
1428, while Joan was at Vaucouleurs trying 
to be patient; her heavenly voices urging her 
on and the ofiScials of beleaguered France bar- 
ring her progress. 

On December 1, 1428, the great Talbot ar- 
rived from England to take the place of Salis- 
bury who had been mortally wounded in one 
of the skirmishes. Talbot brought fresh sup- 
plies of men and guns and ammunition and 
before one or other of the half-dozen gates of 
the city more or less fighting took place every 


Only on Christmas Day there was a truce. 
Some of these skirmishes were serious enough 
on both sides to be called battles. Two armies 
could hardly live seven months within such 
close range without some bloodshed. But there 
was no real sustained fighting. The French 
were afraid and the English, sure of them- 
selves, were in no hurry. The Dauphin was 
expecting help from Scotland, France's old 
ally. France and Scotland had in turn saved 
each other's independence before from England. 
On January 3, 1429, the town council of Tour- 
nai heard from the Dauphin, who was at 
Chinon, that an army was coming from Scot- 
land which would arrive early in May. 

The infant daughter of King James I of 
Scotland, betrothed to the infant son of the 
Dauphin, was coming with a splendid army to 
the succor of her future home. 

The English heard the news, too, and pre- 
pared to attack the Scottish transports. 

On February 14, 1429, Joan went once more 
to the castle at Vaucouleurs and presented her- 
self to the Governor. A few days previously 
he had come to her at her lodgings bringing 
with him a priest who in surplice and stole 
read from the Divine OfQce for the exorcism 
of the evil spirit — while the Governor watched 
eagerly for any sign of witch or devil. 


Joan answered the priest's questions and 
submitted to his tests with perfect calmness 
and good temper. She was more sorry for the 
wrong he did himself than for the insult put 
on her. He pronounced her safe and sane, how- 
ever, very much to the Governor's trouble of 
mind, who would like to be excused from 
further thought of her. 

About this time the defenders of Orleans 
got word of a huge convoy of food and am- 
munition to the English. A French army of 
4,000 fighting men mostly mounted left Orleans 
to intercept and capture the convoy. Their 
own food was becoming scarce. The English 
convoy numbered but 1,500, including the com- 
missariat, to guard the wagons loaded with 
guns and barrels of salt herrings, for it was 

But the 1,500 English and their allies drove 
the French back to Orleans and drove their 
herrings safely to their own camp. 

So discouraged were the French by this one 
defeat, the " Battle of the Herrings," as it is 
known in history, that two thousand of those 
defeated Orleanists, with Charles de Bourbon 
(who commanded at Orleans) at their head 
and the bishop of Orleans (who, by the way, 
was a Scotchman, Andrew Lang says) left 
Orleans as already a doomed town and went 


further south to where the Dauphin was 

The 14th of February Joan presented herself 
once more to the Governor. 

" In God's name," she said vehemently, " you 
are too slow about sending me and have caused 
damage thereby, for this day the Dauphin's 
cause has lost a battle near Orleans." 

The Governor looked earnestly at her for a 
full moment. 

"To-day? How can you know what has 
happened in that region to-day? It would 
take eight or ten days for word to come from 

" I tell you a serious battle was lost to-day 
and it is your fault to delay me so." 

A ray of light struck the puzzled old soldier. 
He swore a great oath that if it proved true, as 
she said, that a battle that day was fought and 
lost, she should have a letter and an escort to 
the king. Then answered Joan : 

" Now God be thanked these waiting days are 
almost done. In nine days you will fetch me 
the letter." 

And Joan made her preparations accord- 
ingly. Her weary waiting was at last over. 

To her trusted knights, Jean de Metz and 
Bertrand de Poulengy, she gave orders to be 
ready for one hour before midnight of the 23d. 


They would march secretly out of Vaucouleurs 
and through the country to Ghinon where the 
Dauphin was. 

At ten, the night of the 23d, the Governor 
came. He had received news of the Battle of 
the Herrings. He delivered over to Joan a 
mounted escort of soldiers. He gave her also 
horses for her brothers and her two knights 
and a letter to the king. Then he took off his 
own sword and belted it around her waist. 

" You said true, child. The battle was lost 
on that day. So I have kept my word. Now 
go ! Come of it what may ! " 


Her miraculous march to the King — He gives her command 
of the armies of France. 

Great was the joy of Joan to hear Baudri- 
court's words. " Go then in God's name — let 
come of it what may." The grave patience of 
her countenance during the weary ten months 
of waiting and pleading to be sent on her 
mission, now gave place to a look of exultation 
that reflected itself on the faces of her escort 
— the " men-at-arms " — that she had at last 
obtained from the Governor. 

God's ways are not man's ways. Else the 
Almighty power that chose so weak an instru- 
ment for so seemingly impossible a work 
would have somewhat smoothed the way for 
her at the start. But those weary months of 
waiting tested and strengthened her patience 
and her confidence, and, by so much, prepared 
her for further and heavier trials. That 
Baudricourt, bluff, rough, skeptical old soldier, 
should believe in her and send her on her way, 
was in itself a miracle most encouraging. And 
he made every one of the twenty men-at-arms 


swear to conduct her safely and well to the 

Joan's task was well begun now, as she 
started out of the " Gate of France " of the 
walled town of Vaucouleurs at the head of her 
little company. 

Between her and the Dauphin at Chinon lay 
the width of France. Over four hundred miles 
of English-infested land and fully a score of 
streams to cross. No convoy of supplies for 
food or shelter accompanied or met them. No 
guarantee of any kind for safety went with 
them, except the word of God in the heart of a 
maiden, and her courage reflected in the faces 
and hearts of her comrades. 

Looking back through history at that march 
with all its circumstances, we see in it again 
'the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day, 
that led the Israelites of old. 

Jean de Metz, testifying to this journey on 
oath years afterwards, swore : 

" We traveled for the most part at night for 
fear of the Burgundians and the English, who 
were masters of the roads. We journeyed 
eleven days always riding (westward), towards 
the said town of Chinon where the Dauphin 
was. On the way I asked her many times if she 
would really do all she said. ' Have no fear,' 
she answered me, ' what I am commanded to 


do I will do; my brothers in Paradise have 
told me how to act; it is four or five years 
since my brothers in Paradise, and my Lord — 
that is, God — ^^told me that I must go and fight 
in order to regain the kingdom of France.' On 
the way Bertrand and I slept every night by 
her — Jeanne being at my side fully dressed. 
She inspired me with such respect that for 
nothing in the world would I have dared to 
molest her; also never did I feel towards her — 
I say it on oath — any carnal desire. On the 
way she always wished to hear Mass. She 
said to us : ' If we can we shall do well to hear 
Mass.' But for fear of being recognized we 
were able only to hear it twice. I had abso- 
lute faith in her. Her words and her ardent 
faith in God inflamed me." 

Bertrand de Poulengy testified: 

" I felt myself inspired by her words, for I 
saw she was indeed a messenger of God ; never 
did I see in her any evil, but always she was 
as good as if she had been a saint. We took 
our road thus and without many obstacles 
gained Chinon, where the king, the Dauphin, 
was then staying." 

The first place of any interest recorded in 
their journey was the little town of St. Cather- 
ine de Fierbois, about a half day's journey by 
horse, from Chinon. Here in a famous chapel 


dedicated to the St. Catherine of her visions 
and voices, they arrived on Sunday, March 6, 

Three Masses after one another they stopped 
to hear. Then the Maid sent her two faithful 
friends, Sieur Bertrand and Jean de Metz, 
ahead of her to Chinon with Baudricourt's 
letter to the Dauphin and a letter of her own, 
which she dictated to Jean de Metz. In it she 
told the Dauphin that she had come a hundred 
and fifty leagues to bring him good news, and 
begged the privilege of delivering it in person. 
She added that though she had never seen him 
she would recognize him in any disguise. 

After resting a few hours her li ttle cavalcade 
started again for Chinon and arriving in the 
evening took lodgings in an inn — awaiting the 
Dauphin's commands. 

Just as Joan rode into Chinon there came 
there also two knightly messengers from be- 
leaguered Orleans, appealing to the king for 
immediate help or the city must fall. 

There was a good man and a capable soldier 
at the time in command of Orleans. He was 
Jean, a natural son of the Duke of Orleans, 
and is well known in French and English his- 
tory as " The Bastard of Orleans." That was 
his popular title at the time, though when 
peace returned to France ten years later he was 


created Count de Dunois. We shall call him 
Dunois for we shall meet him often in this 
story, and learn to love him for his splendid 
courage and good sense. 

He was the king's Lieutenant-General of the 
wars. He was in despair of Orleans when the 
news reached him that a maid was advancing 
from Lorraine to the rescue of Orleans and the 
king. That she had just passed Orleans on 
her way to Chinon. That she promised no less 
than the raising of the siege of Orleans, the 
crowning of the King at Eheims, the reunion 
of Burgundy with the king, and the final ex- 
pulsion of the English from France. 

The besieged Orleanists drank in new life 
and hope with the news. Dunois sent trusted 
messengers to Chinon to learn the truth. 

These soon returned to Orleans and reported 
to Dunois that they had seen the maid; they 
had talked with her men ; that she came to beg 
men and arms and authority from the Dauphin 
to raise the siege of Orleans. She had not 
asked for a great army — had not specified for 
any number of men — if only the king would 
give her soldiers and authority — saying: 

" When God fights it is but small matter 
whether the hand that holds the sword is big 
or little." 

But the King had at first as little mind to 


heed her as Baudricourt had before him. He 
was too bothered and bewildered — too over- 
whelmed with disasters, to sense the amazing 
offer of help so near and so boldly held out. 

He sent councillors to Joan to find out her 
business with him and act for him in the 
matter. But Joan gently refused to treat with 
them. Her business was with the Dauphin and 
she keenly suspected that her business would 
never get to him through these councillors. 

" Be patient, the Dauphin will hear me pres- 
ently. Have no fear," she would say to those 
who expressed anger at the delays put upon 

God raised for her a friend at Court in the 
person of Yolande, queen of Sicily, mother of 
the Dauphin's wife, a sensible, pious woman, 
who prevailed upon the king not to turn his 
back on any promise of help in his straitened 
condition without investigating it. She caused 
Joan to be brought to the Castle of Chinon and 
lodged near herself. Here for two days the 
humble girl from Domremy met the chivalry 
of France, talked with everybody but the one 
with whom she longed to have speech. The 
elegance of the court life, the gay attire, the 
stately ceremonies, and fine speeches, had no 
attraction for her. The echo in her heart of 
Gods pity for France made her sad but the 


knowledge that it must end happily kept her 

After two days word came that the Dauphin 
would see her. He sent a great lord of the 
court, Count de Vendome, to escort her to the 
throne room. As she followed her guide in 
through the great door at one end of the long 
hall she took in at a glance the three hundred 
and more splendidly dressed courtiers and 
soldiers that lined both sides, leaving a wide 
free space down the middle. At the farther 
end opposite the entrance was the canopied 
throne and on its comely occupant the brave 
girl fixed her gaze as she advanced with the 
simple dignity of the true woman, untrained, 
unspoiled, unconscious of herself, and of every- 
thing around not directly concerned with her 

All eyes were fixed upon the maid. And in- 
deed according to all accounts Joan was good 
to look at. 

No Amazon, no weakling, but a fair good 
figure, graceful enough to cause no comment 
in any crowd. From long and frequent con- 
verse with her heavenly visitants it is no won- 
der her countenance was beautiful, but now 
when joy and hope ran unwonted riot in her 
heart, her face was radiant beyond telling. 
Yet awe of her great task doubtless was in it, 


Joan of Arc never sat for a picture, but she 
has been a favorite with painters and we are 
at no loss to imagine how she must have looked 
at this audience with the favored-of-Heaven 
Charles VI. 

Orleans still shows in its Treasury the dress 
worn by Joan of Arc at this first interview 
with the king. A simple white dress of fine 
material and make — procured for her so the 
history attached says, by Yolande. 

She herself never mentions it in any of her 
depositions. The great soul of the woman was 
too full of the fate of the nation to note trifles. 
Neither should we. Sufficient to know that 
some reflection of heaven was in her face and 
the glory of it was the courage of her friends 
and the confusion of her enemies. 

Joan was led quite to the foot of the throne, 
her name pronounced, the Count de Vendome 
made his obeisance and bowed himself out of 
the way. But Joan made no obeisance. One 
long, silent puzzled look she gave the throne 
and then slowly turned her eyes down the long 
line of waiting knights on one side till they 
rested on one. A joyous light came into her 
face, with one swift motion she was on her 
knees before him, her hands clasped together 
and lifted to him as she said : 

" God of His grace give you long life, O dear 
and gentle Dauphin." 


She had recognized him, though he had 
changed places with another to test her. 

" Do you seek the king ? " asked he, pointing 
to the throne as if to make or to shake her 

" Ah, my gracious liege, you are he, and none 

"But who are you and what would you?" 

" I am Joan the maid, and am sent to you 
by the King of Heaven to tell you that you 
shall be consecrated and crowned at Rheims, 
and shall be thereafter Lieutenant of the Lord 
of Heaven, who is King of France." 

She paused and no one found words to utter. 
She spoke again : 

" The Lord of Heaven wills that you set me 
at my appointed work, and give me men-at- 
arms. For then will I raise the siege of Or- 
leans and break the English power." 

More than three hundred men of the king's 
immediate following, had seen that humble girl 
face unabashed, and yet with no boldness, that 
grand assembly. They had been eye-witness to 
her quick penetration of the king's disguise and 
now their ears are filled with a message of 
impossible meaning. 

While they looked and listened for more of 
that blessed voice, the King made a sign for all 
to withdraw and Joan and himself were left 
alone in a vacant space. 


The two talked long and earnestly. This was 
a most momentous conversation for Joan gave 
him a sign by which he might know she came 
from God to him. 

What this sign was no one was told at the 
time. It was seen to make a new man of the 
doubting, despairing king, but no one guessed 
it even. At Joan's trial two years afterwards 
she was tortured unmercifully to make her 
reveal it but she did not. Of course the whole 
world knows it since. From depositions on 
oath of eye-witnesses, from confessions of the 
King to favorites in after years — handed down 
by these the whole story is told and in sub- 
stance it is this : 

Naturally the King wished to believe that 
Joan was sent to him to help him. The couriers 
from Orleans were even then clamoring at his 
gate for him to come and bring what men he 
had to the help of Orleans. But many re- 
verses had made him timorous. 

" I wish I knew what to do," he said to Joan 
at last. 

" I will give you a sign and yon shall no 
more doubt," said Joan. "There is a secret 
trouble in your heart which you have not even 
put into words. A doubt which wastes your 
courage and makes you wish to fly from France 
and hide your head in ignoble peace." 


The King was amazed. Only that morning 
he had gone to his chapel alone and prayed in 
his heart that if through his weak mother's sin 
he was only an imposition on the people of 
France and no true heir to Charles VI, God 
would make it known to him and he would 
relinquish all right to the throne of Charle- 
magne and St. Louis. 

" Thou art lawful heir to the king, thy father, 
and true heir of France. God has spoken it. 
Now lift up thy head and doubt no more, but 
give me men-at-arms and let me get about my 
work, for I must raise the siege of Orleans." 

No one but God knew of his doubt or his 
resolve, and now here was a quick and com- 
plete answer to both. The King was satisfied. 

Not so his councillors. The old soldiers 
among them made sport of the very idea of a 
country maid raising the siege of Orleans, 
where grim old veterans were trembling for the 
morrow. When the King mentioned the ac- 
curacy of the sign she gave him, the Archbishop 
of Rheims reminded him gravely that Satan 
knows the secrets of men. 

And so the King was persuaded to form a 
commission to examine Joan as to her author- 
ity from God and to report to him. 

Several bishops and their secretaries met 
Joan every day for several days, asking her 


questions about her Voices and her mission to 
France. Joan's answers were always simple 
and direct. The Commission did not like to 
countenance the irregularity of a girl leading 
an army, but they could not decide against 

They advised the king to let her case go be- 
fore the doctors of the university of Poitiers. 

Once more must the heroic little woman 
summon all her fortitude and her patience. 

While the English were landing reinforce- 
ments and strengthening their bastiles around 
Orleans ; and the people of Orleans facing slow 
death by hunger, or, later violent death and 
everlasting disgrace, Joan must wait and wait 
and wait for leave to succor them. One great 
sign of the orthodoxy of Joan's mission was 
her submission to the proper authority. She 
would not, though guided by God and strong in 
His care and lead, go from Vaucouleurs to 
Chinon without proper authority and escort 
from the Governor there. Nor would she lift 
a finger to aid Orleans except under the lawful 
authority of the king. There were men enough 
who would follow her lead to the rescue of 
Orleans if she gave the word. But she went 
nowhere of her own free will. " Send me to 
Orleans," she cried ; " give me fighting men — 
few or many — and let me go ! " 


That was peculiarily her plea always. " Gid- 
eon's few " even, if only there was lawful au- 
thority behind them. 

For three weeks Joan had to undergo trial 
as to her orthodoxy before a corps of learned 
ecclesiastics at Poitiers. She sat or stood by 
turns before them while they cross-questioned 
her, badgered her, insulted her. She all the 
while answering them patiently and sometimes 
very pointedly. 

" I don't know A from B ; but I know this : 
that I am come by command of the Lord of 
Heaven to deliver Orleans from the English 
power and crown the King at Rheims, and the 
matters ye are pottering over are of no conse- 

"You assert that God has willed to deliver 
France from this English bondage? " 

" Yes ; He has so willed it." 

" You wish for men-at-arms so that you may 
go to the relief of Orleans ? " 

" Yes ; and the sooner the better." 

" God is all powerful, and able to do what- 
soever thing He wills to do, is it not so?" 

" Most surely — none doubts it." 

" Then answer me. If He has willed to de- 
liver France, and is able to do whatsoever He 
wills, where is the need for men-at-arms ? " 


" The sons of France will fight the battles, 
but God will give the victory ! " 

The testimony of some of these doctors of 
theology, who rigorously questioned Joan, 
taken on oath, is to be seen in the archives of 
Paris to-day. We shall quote one here as a 
sample of the rest for they all under oath told 
the same story in almost the very same words : 
Brother Seguin de Seguin, Dominican, Pro- 
fessor of Theology, Dean of the Faculty of 
Theology of Poitiers. 

" I saw Jeanne for the first time at Poitiers. 
The King's Council was assembled in the house 
of the Lady La Macee, the Archbishop of 
Rheims, then Chancellor of France, being of 
their number. I was summoned as was also 
the Professor of Theology of the University of 
Paris * * * and many others. 

" The Council told us we were summoned, 
in the King's name, to question Jeanne and 
give our opinion upon her. 

" I, in my turn, asked Jeanne what dialect 
the Voices spoke. 

" ' A better one than yours,' she replied. I 
speak the Limousin dialect. 

" Do you believe in God ? I asked her. ' In 
truth, more than you do,' she answered. ' But 


God wills that you should not be believed un- 
less you show signs to prove that you ought to 
be believed. We shall not advise the king to 
risk an army on your simple statement.' 

" ' In God's name, I am not come to Poitiers 
to show signs; but send me to Orleans where 
I shall show you the signs for which I am 
sent.' * * * 

" And then she foretold to me and to the 
others these four things which should happen, 
and which did afterwards come to pass. First, 
that the English would be destroyed, the siege 
of Orleans raised, and the town delivered from 
the English. Secondly, that the King would be 
crowned at Rheims. Thirdly, that Paris would 
be restored to his dominion ; and fourthly, that 
the Duke of Orleans (then a prisoner in Eng- 
land) would be brought back from England. 

" And I who speak have in truth seen these 
four things accomplished. 

" We reported all this to the king, and gave 
our opinion that considering the extreme neces- 
sity, the king might make use of her help and 
send her to Orleans. 

" Besides we enquired into her life and 
morals. We found she was a good Christian, 
living as a Catholic and never idle. In order 
that her manner of living might better be 
known women were placed with her who were 


to report to the king's council her actions and 
her ways. 

" As for me, I believe she was sent from God, 
because, at the time when she appeared, the 
king and all the French people with him had 
lost hope; no one thought of aught but to save 

The verdict made a prodigious stir. The 
news of it flew like wildfire and every man in 
France awoke to the meaning of it. For a 
long time past there had been no French army 
in the field. The king's authority was openly 
flouted. The Duke of Burgundy openly for the 
English side was making friends with the 
Dukes of Lorraine and Brittany for the 
English alliance. Money had run out. There 
was absolutely no hope left. And in this strait 
the king and his council decided to stake their 
last chance in the proffered help of this maid, 
who claimed to come from God. 

In truth there was no help for France now 
but from God. The council of theologians an- 
nounced also that as Joan must do the work 
of a man she could do it better in the dress of 
a man. 

A day later with a great blare of trumpets 
the King announced that Joan of Arc, called 
the Maid, was appointed general in chief of 
the armies of France. The Duke d'Alencon, a 


relative of the king, a brave soldier newly ran- 
somed from a three years' captivity in England 
was made her lieutenant. 

It was a great day for Joan. Her happiness 
found vent in fervent thanks to her Divine 
Lord that now France's long night was near its 
end. Her enthusiasm was caught up by the 
people near her and spread far and quickly 
until all France was eager to begin the work 
of redemption. 

Joan went to Tours at once to have a suit 
of armor fitted her. 

She sent at the same time to Fierbois asking 
the churchmen of St. Catherine's to send her 
an old sword they would find buried behind 
the altar. They found the sword, and cleaned 
it and fitting a sheath to it sent it to her. 

Now was Joan equipped and ready for 


She reorganizes the French army and warns the English 
to leave France. 

Joan's first oflScial act as General-in-Chief of 
the armies of France was to send a letter to 
the English commanders concentrated before 
Orleans ordering them to deliver up all the 
cities in their possession and depart from 

Joan was never one to hesitate or lose time 
once her work was in view. She sent this 
letter at once by a trusted messenger, Guienne, 
so that the Englishmen might have time to 
cogitate over it while she was making prepara- 
tions to follow it up. The letter is among the 
original documents preserved still in the ar- 
chives of Paris. It reads : 


" King of England ; and you, Duke of Bed- 
ford, who call yourself Regent of the King- 
dom of France; you, William de la Pole, Earl 
of Suffolk; John, Lord Talbot; and you, 
Thomas, Lord Scales, who call yourselves^ Lieu- 


tenants to the Duke of Bedford: Give satis- 
faction to the King of Heaven; give up to the 
maid, who is sent hither by God, the King of 
Heaven, the keys of all the good towns in 
France which you have taken and broken into. 
She is come here by the order of God to reclaim 
the blood royal. She is quite ready to make 
peace, if you are willing to give her satisfac- 
tion, by giving and paying back to France what 
you have taken. And as for you, archers, com- 
panions-in-arms, gentlemen and others, who are 
before the town of Orleans, return to your own 
countries, by God's order; and if this be not 
done, then hear the message of the Maid, who 
will shortly come upon you to your very great 

King of England, I am a chieftain of war and, 
if this be not done, wheresoever I find your fol- 
lowers in France I will make them leave, will- 
ingly or unwillingly; if they will not leave I 
will have them put to death. 

I am sent here by God, the King of Heaven, 
to drive them all out of the whole of France. 
And if they will obey I will have mercy on 

And do not think to yourselves that you will 
get possession of the realm of France from 
God, the King of Heaven, Son of the Blessed 
Mary; for King Charles will gain it, the true 


heir ; and God, the King of Heaven, so wills it, 
and it is revealed to him, (the King) by the 
Maid, and he will enter Paris with a good 

If you will not believe the message of God 
and of the Maid and act aright, in whatsoever 
place we find you, we will enter therein and 
make so great a disturbance that for a thou- 
sand years none in France will be so great. 

And believe surely that the King of Heaven 
will send greater power to the Maid, to her and 
her good men-at-arms, than you can bring to 
the attack; and, when it comes to blows, we 
shall see who has the better right from the 
King of Heaven. 

You, Duke of Burgundy, the Maid prays and 
enjoins, you, that you do not come to grievous 
hurt. If you will give her satisfactory pledges, 
you may yet join with her, so that the French 
may do the fairest deed that has ever yet been 
done for Christendom. 

And answer, if you wish to make peace in 
the City of Orleans; if this be not done you 
may shortly be reminded of it to your very 
great hurt. 

Written this Tuesday in Holy Week, March 

22, 1429. 

• • • • • • • 

Now was a busy month ahead for Joan. 


Following the King's proclamation that she 
was henceforward the chief in command of the 
armies of France, was the necessity for her 
to see the generals and the army, to recruit 
and reorganize. 

The great and good Dunois, Governor of Or- 
leans, had been clamoring for weeks for speedy 
assistance. He sent a valued veteran oflflcer 
to the King, old D'Aulon, whom the King at 
once recommended to Joan, and was accepted 
as chief of her personal staff. 

Joan had all her old friends of the journey 
from Vaucouleurs put on her staff, too, re- 
lying for success more on honest hearts than 
on military knowledge; for had she not said 
time and time again that the victory would 
come from God? 

The King had a complete suit of armor made 
for her at Tours nearby, a town famous for its 
workers in metals. It was of silver white 
steel, complete as any soldier's, but lighter in 

She herself designed her standard for the 
painter, whose name was James Powers, as 
the records tell. 

The banner was of white silk, fringed. For 
device it bore the representation of God the 
Father, throned in the clouds, the globe in His 
hand, two angels kneeling on either side. 


The reverse bore the crown of Charlemagne 
upheld by two angels. 

A smaller standard was made also bearing 
a picture of the Annunciation. 

Joan chose for recruiting station and 
marching point for Orleans, the town of 
Blois, about thirty miles from Orleans, and 
like Orleans on the north bank of the Loire — 
whereas Chinon and Tours were on the south 
side of the river. 

At Blois a great store of provisions were 
prepared to be conveyed to the famished Or- 
leanists. At Blois, too, the army was put in 
shape for Orleans. La Hire, the Marshal of 
France, was placed in charge of it till Joan 
should arrive. 

Joan all in armor and with her standards 
and her general staff of oflScers, D'Alencon, 
D'Aulon, Bertrand de Poulengy, Jean de Metz, 
her two brothers, Louis de Contes, and a giant 
in size though not in sense, named in all the 
records " The Paladin," who had followed her 
from Domremy, and to whom she gave charge 
of her standards, and a numerous retinue all 
in new armor, came to Blois in the last week 
of April, 1429. 

There she found an army of about twelve 
thousand men well armed and well organized 
under the leadership of La Hire who next 


to Dunois, Bastard of Orleans, bore the 
mightiest military name in Prance. La Hire 
had his battallions well drilled in military tac- 
tics but Joan wanted more than that. She 
wanted a moral soldiery. 

She allowed no women in the camp. She 
forbade all drinking and disorder. More 
than that, " Every man who joins my standard 
must confess before the priest and be absolved 
from sin; and all accepted recruits must be 
present at divine service twice a day," she pro- 

She caused a banner bearing a representa- 
tion of Our Lord on the cross to be painted, 
and twice a day she had the priests to as- 
semble in the midst of the army, raising this 
banner and singing hymns to the Blessed Vir- 
gin. Only the soldiers who confessed in the 
morning were allowed to join in these 
hymns. And she saw to it that priests were 
always on hand to hear confessions. This is 
known on the sworn testimony of many of these 

These same documents tell, too, of Joan's 
efforts to bring to a state of grace the giant 
old soldier, La Hire. He whose every second 
word was an oath and to whom prayer and 
pity were equally strangers, was gently ap- 
proached by this angel of both prayer and 


pity. As they rode side by side through the 
camp, inspecting and perfecting, Joan broke 
it to La Hire that he, too, had a soul to save 
and that he must do honor to God by raising 
his hands in prayer to Him. At first the old 
soldier laughed at the idea. But Joan pressed 
him hard. He must pray. 

La Hire held out as long as he could, but 
his prayer at last is among the records of 
those miraculous days, and is worthy of the 
strong simple soul of the old soldier, whose 
whole life was spent on battlefields — always 
grim and mostly hopeless. 

At Joan's gentle persistence La Hire, who 
could refuse her nothing, raised his mailed 
hands to heaven as he stood before the Maid 
and prayed : " Fair, Sir God, I pray you to do 
by La Hire as he would do by you if you were 
La Hire and he were God." 

And for the time being Joan was obliged to 
appear satisfied. 

At last all was ready and on the 27th of 
April, the French army, Joan of Arc at its 
head, started in great strength and splendor 
for Orleans. 

Joan in her shining white armor rode at the 
head of it with her personal staff; then a body 
of priests bearing the crucifix and singing the 
" Veni Creator " ; behind them in five divisions, 


the army of France, not more than twelve 
thousand but, under the new leader and the 
new hope, an invincible legion. 

Joan's plan was to march along the north 
bank of the river to Orleans and into Orleans. 
But the old military leaders of France had 
put their heads together and deemed that a 
risky plan. 

Joan's proposal to march boldly up on Or- 
leans seemed to them insane. How could an 
army of twelve thousand force its way through 
Talbot's English camp, the major part of which 
was just near that western gate she planned to 
enter? Better go the other way and instead 
of oflfering open battle in the face of odds, be- 
siege the besiegers by cutting ofiE their supplies 
and reinforcements. 

So Joan and the army, unsuspicious of 
treachery, were led to Orleans by way of the 
Soulonge instead by the Bleuce road. The 
third day's march brought the army in sight 
of Orleans and Joan saw the river Loire be- 
tween her and the beleaguered city and knew 
she had been tricked. 

Dunois, the Governor of Orleans, came with 
his staff in a boat across to meet her. 

" Are you the Bastard of Orleans ? " she 
asked, using the only title he bore then. 

" I am, and right glad of your coming," said 


" Was it you who gave counsel to come by 
this bank of the river, so that I cannot go 
straight against Talbot and the English ? " 

" I, and others wiser than I, gave that coun- 
sel, and I think it the wiser way and the safer." 

" In God's name, the counsel of Our Lord is 
wiser and safer than yours. You think to de- 
ceive me, and you deceive yourself, for I bring 
you better rescue than ever came to knight or 
city, the succor of the King of Heaven. At 
the prayer of St. Louis and of Charlemagne, 
he has had pity on Orleans and will not suffer 
the enemy to have both the Duke of Orleans 
and his city." (The Duke of Orleans was at 
this time a prisoner in England.) 

Joan was hurt and sad. Here were pro- 
visions for the starving in Orleans, but the 
boats were below the city, the wind was against 
them, and the army had no chance whatever of 
marching into Orleans. 

Dunois admitted a blunder had been made. 

" Yes, a blunder has been made and except 
God take your proper work upon Himself and 
change the wind, there is no remedy." 

But at the prayer of Joan just that did 
happen. The wind did change, the fleet of 
boats came up and conveyed the provisions into 
the city. 

But Joan and the army must go back to 


Blois and start again for Orleans on the other 
side of the river. 

Joan gave her orders accordingly with many 
grievings over the precious time so lost while 
her army was in the state of grace and so full 
of enthusiasm. 

Worse yet, Dunois begged her not to go 
back with the army. Let the other generals 
lead it. The people of Orleans were expecting 
her and he could not answer for what they 
might do if he went back to them without her. 

So Joan bade her beloved army go all the 
way back to Blois and crossing the river come 
by the other road to Orleans where she would 
be looking for them inside a week. She went 
with La Hire and a few companies of lancers 
to Orleans. 

All Orleans crowded to meet her. On her 
white horse and with the shining white armor 
that seemed even brighter in the glare of the 
innumerable torches Joan looked the inspired 
messenger of Heaven. It was evening when at 
the Burgundy gate the expectant masses in- 
side met the long-hoped band of deliverance, 
and the air was filled with shouts of joy and 
cries of welcome. 

Straight for the great Cathedral at Joan's 
command the procession formed. Joan was 


allowed to enter first and after her as many aa 
could get in and those on the squares and 
streets around took up the hymn of thanks and 
praise while bells rang and cannon boomed. It 
was late that night when Joan laid aside the 
coat of mail in which she had slept the two 
previous nights with great discomfort to bone 
and muscle. 

At the house of Jacques Boucher, treasurer 
of the city, rooms were prepared for her where 
she was to stay, while in Orleans, the honored 
guest of Madame Boucher and her young 

Next morning, Saturday, she was up early 
and after hearing several Masses in the Cathe- 
dral and before she broke her fast, we are told, 
she set about inquiring about her messenger 
that she had sent with the letter to the English. 
No one knew of any answer nor of any mes- 
senger. She had sent him from Blois with 
directions to bring her the answer in Orleans. 
She now sent her two heralds with a new letter 
warning the English to raise the siege and 
to return the missing messenger. For answer 
to her demands they brought back from the 
English commanders to her a notice that they 
would presently catch her and burn her. Then 
she sent the heralds back : 

" Go back and say to Lord Talbot from me : 


' Come out of your bastiles with your host, 
and I will come with mine; if I beat you, go 
in peace out of France; if you beat me bum 
me, according to your desire." 

This challenge was not accepted. 

Sunday morning she spent again in the 
Cathedral and later in the day she told Dunois 
her army was in some danger and begged him 
to go to Blois and lead it for her to Orleans. 
Dunois sure enough found one Regnault de 
Chartres, a self-seeking, proud officer, conspir- 
ing with others of lesser importance to prevent 
the march to Orleans. Dunois rushed the 
army to Orleans — all the city turned out to 
meet it. Joan and her staff met and greeted 
the head of the column four or five miles out- 
side the city and Joan held a review of the 
now happy troops— happy at having her again 
for encouragement and inspiration. 

It is told in the annals of that day that the 
greatest surprise those French soldiers ever 
had so far was that march into Orleans. With 
Joan on her white steed at their head they 
rode past the fortified bastilles with which the 
English had surrounded the principal avenues 
of approach to the city. The strongest for- 
tress of the English was just on the line of 
march of that incoming army. Each side could 
see the other; Lord Talbot's men could easily 


count the Frenchmen. But Joan nor her men 
never looked Lord Talbot's way — nor did Lord 
Talbot's men take any notice of Joan's army. 
Doubtless it was again the cloud by day shield- 
ing those whom God would shield. By night 
Joan's army was safe inside Orleans and after 
the city had yelled itself hoarse with joy and 
welcome all settled down for as peaceful a 
night as Orleans ever saw before or since. 
That was Tuesday, May 3, 1429. 


Strike boldly I God will give the victory ! On to Orleans ! 

It was not to be expected that the young 
girl from Domremy could take the command 
of the armies of the nation from brave and ex- 
perienced old commanders, nor from dashing 
and ambitious young ones, without some op- 
position, open or secret. 

Nothing but the plainly miraculous nature 
of her help, and their extreme need, would 
have induced the French oflScers to accept her 
at all. But even then there were limits. Let 
her do the miracles. They would do the fight- 

Well, that is what Joan wanted, too. " Let 
the sons of France fight; God will give the 
victory," was the spirit of her war messages 
from the first. She never counted her men. 
She knew that victory came from God and 
waited not on numbers or scientific tactics. 
" Strike boldly; God will help the right." She 
arrogated to herself no credit. She did not 
want to fight. When they wanted to sharpen 


her sword for her at Fierbois, she would not 
have it. She did not carry it to kill anybody, 
but as a sign of authority, she said. (By the 
way, she broke that same consecrated sword 
later, driving away some dissolute women that 
were inclined to follow the army. She was 
death on such and never would let one of them 
in camp.) To return to the fighters : 

The knightly old veterans of the hundred 
years' war with England were eager enough 
for battle. But they had their military tac- 
tics and councils of war, and pride and pru- 
dence, for none of which Joan saw any place 
in this campaign. This was not a war between 
two equal combatants in a fair field. The 
French were in their last ditch, outnumbered 
and surrounded and cowed. 

The French generals were glad to believe 
Joan came to them with succor from heaven, 
but the remnant of the old Adam in them pre- 
vented their generous acceptance of her terms. 
" Bold attack," was the keynote of her system. 
But the grizzled war chiefs always found a 
way to temper her boldness and so delay the 

Still it always turned out that when they 
followed their own plans, they came to grief, 
and were glad to return to her way of think- 
ing. As in the case of the army coming from 


Blois to Orleans. They cheated her out of the 
bold road through the enemy's country, and 
had to let the army retrace and come exactly 
by that way after all — losing a week's time and 
not learning properly their lesson from it. 
For the great captains of Prance chafed and 
balked all through those splendid maneuvers, 
that in a few weeks cleared the country of an 
invading army, that had come to stay forever, 
and believed itself at home. 

Knowing how the end would be Joan was 
patient and firm through it all, and kindest to 
these proud, old soldiers when they thwarted 
her most. She always grieved, though, at the 
delays to the deliverance of France thus caused. 
If she had had her way she would have raised 
the siege the very first time she appeared be- 
fore Orleans. But she had to curb her im- 
petuosity, and lose a week through the blunders 
of the secret conspirators. 

Now this happy 4th of May, 1429, a decent 
French army, freshly accoutred, was safe with- 
in the walls of Orleans, to the great joy of the 
inhabitants who had been facing certain death 
either by famine inside the walls or the English 
sword outside. 

Joan was tired out with her morning's work 
of meeting and escorting the army into the 
city past the English forts. 


The army was tired from more than a week's 
marching forward, and back, and forward 

Joan and the generals, and every individual 
soldier, had laid aside their arms now with a 
feeling of freedom from danger, and not know- 
ing just how or when the beginning of the end 
of the siege was to be. Joan had said that 
within five days there would not be an English 
soldier in or around Orleans. But she lay 
down for a needed rest now. 

This was Wednesday, May 4, and the French 
army and its glorious young commander-in- 
chief were asleep at noon. All at once Joan 
jumped up and called out : " My arms ! Give 
me my arms. French blood is being spilled." 

All around her was bustle and excitement 
in a moment. She was herself the first in 
armor and on a horse; her banner had to be 
reached to her through a window, so hastily 
did she get ready. Without waiting to see 
who followed she raised her banner high and 
galloped furiously in the direction from which 
she could now plainly hear the noise of the 
battle. She followed the sound across the 
width of the city and as the crowds gathered at 
the sound of her horse's hoofs, "'Forward, 
French hearts! Follow me," she shouted. 

Fast as they could arm and follow they did 


SO. First her staff and close after them the 
troops nearest hand, all making for the Bur- 
gundy gate. 

It appears that the garrison so long hope- 
less, had got excited over Joan's coining, and 
all it promised, and were anxious to begin. 

Without orders from anybody some oflScers 
planned a little sortie of their own and made 
an attack on one of Talbot's thirteen fortresses 
built around the city — the fortress of St. Loup 
— and got the worst of it. Were getting the 
worst would be more accurate, for Joan came 
to their aid in good time. 

As she, at the head of her eager troopers, 
rushed out the Burgundy gate, they met the 
wounded being brought in. The sight moved 
Joan very much. 

" Ah ! French blood ; it makes my hair rise 
to see it," she said. Waving her banner high 
over her head she called out : " Follow me ! " 

And out into the open field she dashed for 
her first battle with the English. She did not 
have to fight the Burgundians. It is a curious 
fact that the Burgundian allies had been sent 
elsewhere a short time before. Orleans was 
deemed an easy prey and there was work for 
them elsewhere. 

So Joan was spared the pain of fighting 


This hastily improvised battle was a real 
one, no less. The garrison of St. Loup had 
come out of their bastile to meet the French 
attack. The garrison from another bastile, 
nearby, had come to help them and the French- 
men seemed to have but small chance of ever 
getting inside the Burgundy gate again. 

When Joan came charging through the re- 
treating French crying : " Forward men — 
follow me," there came a change. The French 
turned about and followed her and surged for- 
ward like a great wave of the sea. They swept 
down upon the English and through them and 
doubled back and hemmed them round, the 
English fighting and backing ther way again 
into St. Loup, leaving wounded and dead out- 
side on the field. 

Joan thought for a brief space. 

" We will take this fortress," she concluded. 
" We will carry it by storm. Sound the 

A wave of incredulity and remonstrance 
swept over the faces of Dunois and the rest. 
They thought the attempt needlessly hasty as 
well as desperate. 

" Will you always play with these English? " 
she asked. " Now verily, I will not budge until 
this place is ours. Let the bugles sound the 


And truly wWle their blood was up was just 
the time to fight. 

The martial notes rang out, the troops an- 
swered with a yell and dashed themselves 
against the walls whose sides were now spout- 
ing flame and smoke. They were driven back. 

" Forward," was Joan's word again. Again 
they hurled themselves against those deadly 
walls and again and again, each time with ever 
increasing zest. At last La Hire came with a 
fresh body of men just in time to be in with a 
fresh and final rush against the smoking walls, 
and soon St. Loup was full of the victorious 
French. All of the English who were not killed 
were taken prisoners and the French standard 
was planted on the walls to remain there. 

" The English died at St. Loup in great 
numbers," say the Chronicles, and Joan's con- 
fessor testified: 

" Jeanne was much afflicted when she heard 
they died without confession." 

Her confessor testified also : " On this day, 
the eve of the Ascension, she predicted that 
within five days the siege would be raised and 
not a single Englishman left in or around 

Joan and the victorious army marched back 
into the city, with their prisoners and a large 
quantity of ammunition and food from the 


captured St. Loup. Straight to the Cathedral 
first to give thanks to God Joan led the way. 
Thanks for this first victory of a whole series 
of victories to come, and soon. 

Joan's care was always to lead the march to 
the Cathedral; and so it is eminently fitting 
that the hroad, beautiful avenue leading to the 
Cathedral to this day is named " Rue Jeanne 

After the Te Deum the interrupted rest waa 
resumed. " The army slept," the annals say. 

Next day was Ascension Thursday. Joan 
was early at Mass, at Confession, at Holy Com- 
munion, and then she had this letter written to 
the English in the forts: 


" You, men of England, who have no right in 
this kingdom of France, the King of Heaven 
orders and commands you by me, Jeanne the 
Maid, that you quit your strong places and re- 
turn to your own country; if you do not I 
will cause you such an overthrow as shall be 
remembered for all time. I write to you for 
the third and last time, and shall write to you 
no more." 

" Signed, 



To which this note was added : 

" I would have sent this letter in a more 
suitable manner, but you keep back my her- 
alds ; you have kept my herald, Guinne ; I pray 
you send him back and I will send you some 
of your people who have been taken at St. 
Loup — for all were not killed there." 

Joan fastened this letter to an arrow head 
and had an archer shoot it towards the English, 
at the same time calling loudly in her clear, 
young voice : " Read, here is news." 

The English received the arrow, and read 
the letter and shouted in answer : " Yes, news 
from the harlot of the Armagnacs " — which 
made Joan wince and weep and seek comfort 
and strength in prayer. 

After supper that night a council of war 
was held in the house of one of the big men of 
the city. She heard the captains of war, in 
turn, advise to make haste slowly and tire the 
English out. Her usual gentleness was some- 
what modified by her impatience as she gave 
her word in her turn: 

" I am commander here ; you have my orders 
here and now. We move upon the forts on 
the south bank of the river to-morrow at 

" That means we must first take the fort oa 


the north bank— the bastile St, John?" said 
an iron-gray warrior. 

" We will not need to mind the bastile St. 
John. The English themselves will know 
enough to vacate it when they see us coming 
and strengthen themselves in the forts across 
the river," was her prophetic answer. It was 
an answer to be expected from an expert tac- 
tician, too. 

And so it proved. The English were at last 
on the defensive, whereas they had been the 
attacking party always heretofore, as their 
fathers and grandfathers had been. 

Early the next morning, Friday, the 6th of 
May, Joan led the newly shrived and eager 
army out the Burgundy gate, and towards the 
river, which they crossed in boats to the island 
(St. Aignan) in the middle of the river, and 
front of the ci ty. Thence over the narrow strip 
of river in a bridge of boats to the now aban- 
doned fort of St. John — hastily abandoned by 
the English when they saw the French line of 
march in the morning. From St. John, the 
white standard of John floated on down the 
river a little way and then stopped fair and 
square, right in front of the formidable fortress 
that guarded the entrance of the bridge that 
led into the city — the fortress of the Augustins. 

Joan came to a stand in the face of the for- 


tress and, without waiting for the rest of the 
army to come up, ordered the bugles to sound 
the assault at once. The trumpets sounded. 

Joan's voice rang out in " Onward in God's 
name ! " and the French threw themselves 
against the walls furiously. They were driven 
back. The bugles again rang out, again Joan's 
word of command thrilled the heart of every 
man, again they faced the living walls, and 
again were forced back. 

By this time the fortress (English) of St. 
Prive, about three-quarters of a mile away, 
further down the river, sent its garrison on a 
run to the help of the Augustins. 

Seeing them coming, the garrison of the 
Augustins sallied out of their walls to meet 
them, and together they rushed on the French. 

Hour after hour of fierce fighting followed, 
the English finally backing into their fortress 
again, the French pursuing and battering 
against the walls, receding and advancing with 
ever increasing impetuosity until they at last 
planted the Maid's fair banner on the top, full 
in sight of the English at the other forts, and 
in sight of the towers of Orleans. 

It was a great fight and a great victory. It 
had lasted from early morning until sundown. 
The strong fortress of the Augustins guarding 
the bridge was now in the hands of the French. 


But between them and the city of Orleans, was 
the still stronger fort of the Tourelles, of which 
the Augustins was the outpost. To free the 
bridge and raise the siege, the twin Tourelles 
must be taken and the Boulevard that strength- 
ened them, also. Here was Joan's work for 
the morrow already mapped out. 

Now between them and Orleans were the 
strong twin Tourelles and the Boulevard. 
They would have to go the roundabout way 
they came to get back to the Burgundy gate. 

She decided at once that the army must sleep 
on their arms where they were, ready for the 

In the few hours of daylight left she ordered 
the Augustins emptied of its artillery and am- 
munition and the stores destroyed, lest the 
eating and drinking demoralize the troops and 
unfit them for the morning's work, its hardest 
task yet on the morrow. 

To her confessor she said : 

" Rise early and stay by me all day. To- 
morrow I will have much more to do than ever 
I had and blood will flow from my body above 
my breast." 

Her confessor tells also on oath that whereas 
she always fasted on Friday most rigorously, 
after this day's hard work she took some sup- 
per, feeling great need of it. She wished to 


stay with the army all night, but yielded to the 
pressure of D'Aulon and the others, and re- 
turned to the city for a night's rest. 

But her anxiety for the army had her up very 
early next morning. After Mass, and without 
waiting for breakfast, she was on her horse and 
eager to be off. She was besought to eat some- 
thing. A fine fish, the first fruits of the free- 
dom of the river front, was prepared for her. 
But she would not wait to eat, saying gaily : 

" There is going to be fish in plenty. When 
this day's work is over the whole river front 
will be yours to do with as you please. I shall 
come back to Orleans by the bridge." 

Now this was looked upon as extravagance 
run mad. 

" The place, to all men of the sword, seemed 
impregnable," said Percival de Oagny. 

" Doubt not, the place is ours," called out 
the girlish voice of the commander-in-chief. 

The twin Tourelles and the Boulevard were 
all manned and ammunitioned, and the garri- 
son, strong and saucy, had not the least notion 
of surrendering; nor had the fighting men of 
France any hope of dislodging them with a 
year's fighting much less a day's. 

At sunrise on May 7, Joan heard Mass and 
started at once for the Augustins, with Du- 
nois, La Hire, de Saintrailles, de Villars, and 


many other captains of war and as many of the 
garrison as could be spared from the safekeep- 
ing of Orleans. They went by the boats, as the 
day before, in full view of the English in the 
Tourelles. The commander of the Tourelles, a 
brave soldier named Glasdale, sent a very in- 
sulting message to the Maid. But undauntedly 
her joyous voice rang out : " In God's name, 
we shall enter the town this night by the 

Only by a miracle could this happen, for on 
this bridge between them and Orleans was this 
series of fortifications and brave, live bodies 
of Englishmen fully as many as the French. 

And here again the nation's warriors crossed 
councils with their inspired leader. They 
boldly held her intention of attacking the 
Tourelles as madness — a useless sacrifice of 
life, and calculated to bring scorn upon the 
nation's military records. 

But Joan led the assault on the Boulevard 
at early morn, and they could do but her 

She pounded it with artillery incessantly 
from morn till noon. Then she ordered the 
assault, and led it herself. 

Her standard was the guiding star for every 
eye. Her clear voice ringing out now and again 
thrilled every heart, nerved every arm. Down 


into the fosse went Joan and started to climb 
a scaling ladder, when an iron bolt struck her 
between the neck and the shoulder, tearing 
through her armor, and piercing her through 
and through. Her cry of pain as she sank to 
the ground was heard by French and English, 
though with different emotions. 

The English sent up a glad shout and surged 
about the spot where she fell. The French 
centered there, too — and for a short while it 
seemed as if the fate of France hung upon the 
fate of that small figure whose blood broke 
the glowing whiteness of her silver armor. 

"If the English had captured Joan then," 
says Mark Twain in his poetic account of her 
life, " Charles VII would have flown the coun- 
try, the Treaty of Troyes (making the King of 
England the King of France also) would have 
held good and France already English prop- 
erty, would have become, without further dis- 
pute, an English province, to so remain till the 
Judgment Day. It was the most momentous 
ten minutes that the clock has ever ticked in 
France or ever will. * * * Joan of Arc lay 
bleeding in the fosse, with two nations strug- 
gling over her for possession of her." 

Joan was with diflaculty carried out of the 
melee to a safe place, her armor removed, her 
wound dressed with oil, and she lay down for 
a necessary rest. 


The battle had to go on without her. Of that 
battle it is hard to write briefly. Historians 
call it one of the fifteen decisive battles of the 
world. Pictures and poems and graphic de- 
scriptions of it we have in plenty. By all the 
rules of war the English should have won. 
They had everything in their favor except — 
the will of God. 

One of the chief actors in this battle is the 
Count de Dunois, the great " Bastard of Or- 
leans," whose name will always be nobly asso- 
ciated with Joan's in the chronicles of that 
wonderful campaign, spoke of it simply enough 
when he was on his oath some few years later. 
It is like a soldier's statement — confined to 
facts : 

" The attack lasted throughout, from the 
morning until eight o'clock in the evening, 
without hope of success for us; for which 
reason I was anxious that the army should re- 
tire into the town. The Maid (who had been 
wounded previously and was suffering keenly) 
then came to me, praying me to wait yet a little 
longer. Thereupon she mounted her horse, re- 
tired to a vineyard, remained in prayer about 
half an hour, then, returning and seizing her 
banner by both hands, she placed herself on the 
edge of the trench. At sight of her the English 
trembled, and were seized with sudden fear. 


Our people, on the contrary, took courage and 
began to mount, and assail the Boulevard, not 
meeting any resistance. Thus was the Boule- 
vard taken, and the English therein put to 
flight. All were killed, among them Glasdale, 
and the other principal English captains of the 
Bastile, who, thinking to gain the bridge 
Tower, fell into the river and were drowned. 
Their heavy armor carried them to the bottom 
at once. ' Ah ! God pity them,' said Joan, and 
she wept. Before the sun went down quite, 
that Saturday evening, Joan's memorable day's 
work was over, her banner floated free from the 
enemy's greatest fortress, her promise was ful- 
filled, she had raised the siege of Orleans." 

" What the first generals of France had called 
impossible," says Mark Twain, " was accom- 
plished. In spite of the king's ministers and 
war councils, the country maid of seventeen 
had carried her immortal task through and 
had done it in four days as she had promised 
to do a year before." 

Home by the bridge went the happy army 
that night, Joan ahead; and all Orleans came 
to meet them. Such bonfires and bells and 
shouting can never be described ! 

When a lull came it was to let the wounded 
and tired little maiden warrior rest. 

" She has given us peace, she shall have peace 


herself ! " they said. All knew that next day 
the whole region would be empty of the Eng- 
lish, and all said that never should France for- 
get that day. Orleans does to this day, keep 
holiday all those five days from May 4, but 
especially with military honors, and religious 
thanksgiving, and general rejoicing, the 8th of 
May — Joan of Arc's Day. 


"The stroke of God" — Beginning of the end of the 
hundred years of English occupation. 

" The stroke of God," the English Duke of 
Bedford called the demolition of the English 
fortresses that guarded the bridge over the 
river into Orleans on that brave Saturday 
evening, May 8, when the news of it was 
brought him a few days later to Paris, where 
he was ensconced securely, as he thought for all 

" All things prospered for you till the time 
of the siege of Orleans," he wrote to the young 
king of England. 

But those four days' work around and out- 
side the walls of Orleans decided the fate of 
the English in France. They had to go and 
as the sequel proved they did not stand on the 
order of their going, but went quickly. 

There was quite a dramatic finale to the 
siege of Orleans not often found, if ever, in 
books of battles and sieges. 

The four days' fighting had been on the east 

side and in front of the city. The fortresses of 

St. Loup, St. Jean le Blanc, the Augustins, the 

Tourelles, formed the English stronghold on 



two main sides of the city. On the west, on 
the way to Blois and Tours and Ohinon, out- 
side the Eegnart Gate were encamped in 
greater number but not so fortified, the main 
English army under Lord Talbot. 

They could not get to the aid of the Tourelles 
even if they had had time to collect their 
thoughts and get themselves together for such 
a reinforcement. The descent of Joan and the 
army on the bridge fortresses had been swift 
and too overwhelming in its result. 

The French returned " by the bridge " that 
Saturday night and after the fervent thanks- 
givings in the churches, and the inevitable 
shouting and exultation over the victory, they 
had dropped from sheer exhaustion into a few 
hours of as deep and peaceful sleep as few 
Frenchmen had known in that neighborhood 
for nearly a year. 

Not many hours of sleep though, for at the 
first streak of dawn the watchers on the towers 
after feasting their eyes on the still smoking 
remains of the English forts across the river, 
turning their eyes westward, where the enemy's 
camp whitened the plain, saw unusual signs of 
activity for so early an hour. The English had 
left their tents and were drawn up in line of 
battle. Quickly the Maid and the French cap- 
tains and garrison and tired soldiers were up 

The Siege of Orleans. 


and marshaled. Out of the Regnart Gate, 
Joan led them and soon they were in shape for 
work, facing the English troops and between 
them and the city walls. 

Thus the two armies stood a brief space. 
Both apparently ready, neither anxious to 

For once Joan was not calling " Forward 
French hearts ! " She surveyed the field quietly 
for a few moments and then saying : " This is 
Sunday morning," gave orders for a table to 
be brought, and a temporary altar erected right 
there on the field, between the two armies. 

Her confessor then ofifered up the Holy Sacri- 
fice, and immediately after him another priest 
did so, both armies attending as reverently as 
circumstances permitted. When the second 
Mass was finished, Joan, who had dismounted 
and knelt near the altar, asked those near her 
how were the English facing. 

" Their backs are towards us. They are fac- 
ing Meung," was the answer. 

" They are going. In God's name we will let 
them go. We shall catch them another time," 
she said. A detachment of the French army 
followed them some distance to be sure they 
were not planning some detour. 

As it proved later the English retired to 
Meung, a town about ten miles down the Loire 


from Orleans, which had been a long time in 
possession of the English. 

After following them a few leagues, the 
French army turned back to Orleans and the 
day was given up to processions to the churches 
in thanksgiving; and later in the day to civic 
and military parades and music and illumina- 

In the evening the populace spread itself 
freely and happily outside the gates over the 
open fields from which they had been so long 
shut off, and enjoyed the spring freshness of 
meadow and forest to the full. 

'Twas a happy day to Orleans and to this 
day it is sacred to religious processions in the 
morning and military parades and maneuvers 
in the afternoon — it is Joan of Arc Day — 
May 8th. 

Now that the siege of Orleans really was 
raised did Joan rest on her oars and nurse her 
still paipful wound ? No ! There was no peace 
for Joan till Prance was free. Now for 
Eheims and the Coronation of Charles and 
then to Paris to take his Capital from the 
English. That was her plan and she was eager 
to put it through at once. 

To the east and west were towns on the 
Loire occupied by the English. These must be 
recovered. But her first duty now was to go 


to the Dauphin, have him crowned and then 
with his authority — maybe his help — clear 
Paris and then these Loire towns and every 
town in France, of the invaders. Leaving La 
Hire in charge of the army and garrison in 
Orleans, she took a small escort and proceeded 
towards Blois and Chinon to meet the Dauphin. 

Charles came as far as Tours to meet her. 
Less than a week before he had sent her hope- 
fully over this same route and he welcomed her 
now joyously and with a feeling of awe that 
she could be responsible for such a change in 
his fortunes in one short week. The journals 
of those days tell of the glad picture they made 
riding side by side with bands playing and 
banners flying and the wondering people on 
the streets striving to see and to touch if pos- 
sible the angel of deliverance sent so directly 
from heaven to them. 

The whole country was full of her praises as 
couriers rode here and there to all the towns 
still in the King's fealty with the news of the 
end of the siege of Orleans. 

But Joan took little comfort in the praises 
of the people. She repeatedly asserted that if 
the Dauphin were but crowned the power of 
his enemies would quickly dwindle. 

She begged Charles to accompany her at 
once to Rheims. But Charles was surrounded 


by unworthy councillors who advised him to 
hesitate going to Eheims through a country 
still infested with English. 

The Archbishop of Rheims' opinion was: 

" We piously believe her to be the angel of 
the armies of the Lord," and he advised that 
while human wisdom must exercise itself in 
matters of military finance, artillery, bridges, 
and so forth, in extraordinary enterprises the 
Maid should be first and chiefly consulted. 

But the self-seeking and truculent La Tre- 
moille, the king's chief councillor, counter- 
weighed the Archbishop's advice and kept 
Charles idle on the plea that it would not be 
safe to go to Eheims while the towns on the 
way were inimical to him. 

" Noble Dauphin," Joan said at length, after 
nearly two weeks of waiting to move him; 
" hold not such long councils but come at 
once to Rheims and be worthily crowned." 

One of the king's pusillanimous council, 
d'Harcourt, asked her if the march on Rheims 
was part of the monitions of her saintly ad- 

" Yes, they chiefly insist on it." 

" Will you not tell us in the presence of the 
King what is the nature of this council of 

The King was ashamed at the bold question 


and told her she need not answer it unless she 
wished to do so. 

" I will tell you willingly," she said. 

" When I am somewhat hurt because I am 
not readily believed in the things which I 
speak from God, I am wont to go apart and 
pray God, complaining that they are hard of 
belief; and after that prayer I hear a Voice 
saying to me : ' Daughter of God, go on ! go on ! 
go on ! I will be your aid, go on ! ' When I 
hear that voice I am glad and desire always 
to be in that state." 

And her countenance was raised to heaven 
while she spoke with a joyous earnestness that 
affected all beholders towards her to believe 

But a whole month was wasted trying to 
get the King to go to Rheims. The most he 
would do was to authorize an army to invade, 
and if possible, win back, from the English the 
good towns of the Loire valley so that he might 
travel without fear of attack. 

He made Joan the Commander-in-Chief of 
this expedition and warned all the great cap- 
tains of France to do nothing without consult- 
ing her and to follow her lead implicitly. Joan 
was obliged to content herself though she 
knew that her plan was quicker and safer. 
The obedience to the King was a holy trait in 


Joan's character and goes far to prove the 
sanctity of her brave soul. 

Not hers to sit in judgment on her sovereign. 
He represented Prance, he represented lawful 
authority, he was her civil superior. It was 
hers to obey him. She might urge or coax him, 
she might even represent to him the dangers 
and the wrong of the delay; but he was her 
rightful sovereign and if he insisted she must 
yield. And so she did, generously and grace- 
fully. She led her army back to Orleans to 
start from there against Jargeau and Meung 
and Beaugency and other towns still full of 
the English. 

Prom the letter to his mother of a nobleman 
who was of her company at this time we get 
this picture of Joan : 

" I saw her mount all in white armor but un- 
helmeted, a small steel sperth (a little battle- 
axe) in her hand. She had a great black horse, 
which plunged at the door of her house and 
would not permit her to mount. ' Lead him 
to the Cross,' she cried, meaning the cross that 
stands in the road in front of the church. 
There he stood as if cords held him and she 
mounted, and turning towards the church gate, 
she said in a sweet womanly voice, ' Ye priests 
and churchmen, go in procession and pray to 
God for us.' Then, ' Porward ! Forward ! ' she 


cried aloud, a gracious page bearing her white 
standard displayed, and she with the little 
sperth in her hand. D'Alencon, Dunois, de 
Gaucourt, are all following the Maid. The 
King wants to keep Grey with him till the 
Maid has cleared the line of the Loire, and 
then to ride with him to Rheims." 

Joan went back to Orleans, the base of the 
Loire campaign, on June 9, to the great joy of 
the people — just exactly a month after raising 
the siege. 

She, or rather the big men who were the 
chiefs of the national forces, mustered an 
army of about ten thousand men which the 
people of Orleans generously robbed themselves 
to equip. Jargeau, a strongly fortified town, 
about twelve miles to the east of Orleans, was 
their first point of attack. 

The people of Orleans filled five sloops, 
manned by forty boat men, with heavy guns 
and field-pieces, ropes and scaling ladders, and 
everything needed to attack fortified walls. 
Joan lost not one hour, for she heard that to 
Jargeau's garrison of about eight hundred, 
Bedford was sending Fastolf from Paris with 
five thousand men and supplies to the help of 

Joan harangued the army before starting 
out : " Success is certain. If I were not as- 


sured of this from God, I would rather herd 
sheep than put myself in so great jeopardy." 

June 11, Joan planted her standard in front 
of Jargeau and called on the garrison to yield 
themselves peaceably to the Dauphin. 

But they heeded not her message. 

Next day, June 12, the artillery duel began, 
and a great gun sent from Orleans ruined one 
of the towers in the wall. Suffolk, the English 
commander, begged a truce for a fortnight, 
hoping that Fastolf with the reinforcements 
would arrive by that time. Joan refused. She 
consented to let them all go unarmed and 
peaceably out of the town at once. Suffolk re- 
fused this and Joan gave the word to sound the 
bugles for the assault. 

The Duke d'Alencon testified on oath of this 
engagement : 

" ' Forward, gentle Duke, to the assault,' 
cried Jeanne to me. And when I told her it 
was premature to attack so quickly : ' Have no 
fear,' she said, ' it is the right time when it 
pleases God ; we must work when it is His will; 
Act, and God will act! ' Later she said to me: 
* Ah ! gentle Duke, art thou afraid? Did I not 
promise thy wife to bring thee back safe and 
sound ? ' And, indeed when I left my wife to 
come with Jeanne to the headquarters of the 
army, my wife had feared much for me, for 
that I had but just left prison and much had 


been spent on my ransom. To which Jeanne 
replied ' Lady have no fear; I will give him 
back to you whole, or even in better case than 
he is now ! ' During the assault on Jargeau, 
Jeanne said to me: ' Go back from this place, 
or that engine will kill you,' pointing to an en- 
gine of war in the city. I retired and shortly 
after that very engine killed the Sieur de Lude 
who had taken my place. I had great fear and 
wondered much at Jeanne's words and how 
true they came. Afterwards Jeanne made the 
attack and I followed her. As our men were 
invading the place, Suffolk made proclamation 
that he wished to speak with us, but it was too 
late ; we did not listen to him. Jeanne was on 
a scaling ladder, her standard in her hand, 
when her standard was struck and she herself 
hit on the head by a stone which was partly 
spent, and which struck her calotte. She was 
thrown to the ground, but raising herself she 
cried, ' Friend, friends, come on. Come on ! 
Our Lord hath doomed the English. They are 
ours ! Keep a good heart ! ' 

" At that moment the town was carried and 
the English retired to the bridges where the 
French pursued them and killed more than 
eleven hundred men." 

Jargeau was taken. Suffolk, himself was 
captured. The Maid and d'Alencon returned 
to Orleans that night in triumph. 

The next day Joan ordered the troops a com- 
plete rest. " To-morrow after dinner I wish 
to pay the English at Meung a visit." 


Meung was about as far down the river from 
Orleans as Jargeau was above. Beaugency was 
some miles still further down and occupied also 
by the English. 

Promptly at noon they marched to Meung 
and took it by assault in a few hours, left a 
garrison to hold it and marched on to Beau- 
gency where the terrible Talbot was. 

Here news of Falstof's coming to Talbot's 
rescue paled the faces of many of the French 
captains. Undaunted Joan placed her bat- 
teries. More news came. This time it was 
Eichmonte, the Constable of France, who was 
coming to her aid. But the Constable had lost 
the King's favor through the trickery of La 
Tremoille and the other captains would not ac- 
cept his aid. Joan proved her statesmanship 
as well as her military skill by welcoming 
Richmonte's aid and just in time. Falstof's 
reinforcement put great courage in Talbot and 
a stubborn resistance put the French on their 
mettle. So much so that they wanted to fight 
that evening whereas the heretofore impetuous 
Joan counseled waiting till morning — ^for a 
fair light, for the battle must be decisive. So 
they waited and lo! the English got away on 
the road to Paris that night. 

" In God's name, we must fight them at 
once," she said early next day. " Even if they 


were hanging from the clouds we should have 
them, because God has sent us to chastise them. 
The gentle King shall have to-day the greatest 
victory he has ever had." 

And off Joan and the French troops were 
after the fleeing English. 

At Patay Falstof and Talbot were overtaken 
and after three hours hard fighting the two 
were taken prisoner and their command lay 
dead in heaps among the bushes. 

" The praise is to God," said Joan, surveying 
the field. " In a thousand years — a thousand 
years — the English power in France will not 
rise up from this blow." 

And this merciful note is added in the de- 
positions of an eye-witness: 

" Towards the end of the day I came upon 
her where the dead and dying lay stretched all 
about in heaps and winrows; our men had 
mortally wounded an English prisoner who 
was too poor to pay a ransom, and from a dis- 
tance she had seen that cruel thing done; and 
had galloped to the place and sent for a priest 
and now she was holding the head of her dying 
enemy in her lap and easing him to his death 
with comforting soft words, just as his sister 
might have done; and the womanly tears run- 
ning down her face all the time," 


The march to Rheims — Joan and the King ride in truimph 
to the Coronation. 

The news of the great slaughter of the Eng- 
lish at Patay, and the capture of Talbot and 
Suffolk, spread like magic through all the 
towns of France; giving new life to the loyal 
French in many towns of the English garrison 
so that they lost fear of their English masters. 
To the English it sounded like a page from the 
Doomsday Book. 

Once more the white-mailed figure of the 
Maid of Orleans on the great black horse, rode 
into Orleans, her banner flying and seeming 
to tell in its joyous fluttering of this latest and 
greatest yet of many victories led by this 
hardly four months' old standard. 

Many a glorious old battle flag, scarred and 
rent and bloodstained, might be jealous of this 
fair young pennant, whose glories might count 
almost one for every day of its young life. 

Orleans fairly went wild when Joan and the 
army returned after Meung, Beaugency and 
Patay in three short days. It sounded like 

Joan o( Arc entering Orleans. 


Caesar's : " I came ! I saw ! I conquered ! " all 
over again — only in this case there was no self- 
glorification on the part of the conqueror. She 
was " the handmaid of the Lord," the " Sword 
of God," and to Him alone gave the praise and 
the glory. And the grim English Talbot rode 
beside Joan through the streets of Orleans a 
prisoner of war. 

Joan sent to the king to beg him to come 
straight on to Orleans. The people wanted to 
see him. It was on the way to Eheims. It 
would expedite his crowning by saving so 
much time. She was most anxious to see him 
crowned : " The power of his enemies would 
dwindle away to nothing then," she said. But 
the King's advisers, chief of whom was La 
Tremoille, of hated memory, would not let him 
go. He must take no risks, they said. There 
were English fortresses at intervals all along 
the two hundred miles from Gien to Eheims. 
He came to Sully on the Loire, where was La 
Tremoile's home, and would go no further. 
Joan must needs come to him there. 

At Sully and Gien he held councils, without 
Joan, and La Tremoille and d'Harcourt and 
others advised going to Normandy to recruit 
and then clear the country of the English and 
Burgundians, ahead of the Dauphin. For ten 
days the one who saw the way so clear to the 


freedom of France, and who had the commis- 
sion to act on it, had to chafe and wait while 
blind men sat daily considering whether this 
road or that was the least dangerous; whether 
it was not better to go to Normandy until the 
English got tired out. 

The Maid knew as well as any man of them 
the strength of the hostile cities on the road. 
She had passed through some of them before. 
On her way from Domremy she passed safely 
through Auxerre with a handful of men, and 
if she had wished it, she could have had half 
the population to join her. But she had not 
the authority and she was not a freebooter. 
Only with the authority of her sovereign would 
she lead any army anywhere. 

But with that authority and even a few men 
she felt herself a match for any force. " There 
are so many fortified English towns on the 
road to Rheims," explained the King's coun- 

" I know all that, and make no account of 
it," she said. In her impatience to be on the 
road to the coronation she left the king and 
the council and waited for them outside the 
gates of Gien for two days, with the army. 

At length, on the 29th of June, they joined 
her and the march to Rheims was begun. 

With her prophetic eye on Rheims afar off 


and knowing that between her and Rheims 
were many English or Bnrgundian garrisoned 
towns, yet she took no artillery with her. 

She received the Body of her Lord that 
morning, shedding tears of thankfulness that 
so much of her great task was accomplished; 
and she made no complaint that king or coun- 
cillor still doubted and delayed her. She was 
too joyous to remember aught but that they 
were on their way to the coronation. Every 
one who looked at her caught the reflection of 
her bright face, and so it was a happy army 
set out for the open country early on that 
June 29, 1429, the King and Joan riding side 
by side, and behind them all the big men of 
France, and behind them again the rank and 
file of France's National Guard, twelve thou- 
sand strong. 

The second day's march across the open 
country brought them to the Burgundian-Eng- 
lish town of Auxerre. The Maid would have 
at once requested its gates opened to the sov- 
ereign and the army of France and followed 
up the request by force, but she was overruled. 

The town sent out a deputation and La Tre- 
moille took it upon himself to meet it and 
agree to pass by the town without entering. 
The Maid's opinion was not asked nor given. 

For three days the army rested outside the 


gates and were supplied with food by the 
people from within. 

July 4 they marched away, leaving Auxerre, 
half friendly, half hostile, behind them, and 
after a steady advance over another thirty, or 
nearly forty, miles of sparsely settled country 
arrived at Troyes and camped before its gates. 

The inspired Joan took the initiative here 
at once and summoned Troyes to surrender. 
Its commandant, seeing there was no artillery 
behind the summons, sent an insulting refusal. 
That was Tuesday, the 5th of July. That day 
and three days more were lost in Joan's en- 
deavoring to persuade the king's councillors 
not to turn back. 

They were afraid, they said, to go on leaving 
so strong an enemy in their rear. Finally, the 
King left it to Joan. 

" In three days' time the place is ours," she 
said in a tone of which no man that heard it 
could fail to catch the enthusiasm. 

" Oh ! " said the council, " we can wait six 
days if you are so sure." 

" Three days, did I say? In the name of God, 
we will enter the gates to-morrow ! " cried 

Then she mounted her black steed and rode 
along the lines giving the order : " Make prep- 
ation; we assault at dawn." 


All that night she had every man working, 
and herself worked the hardest, bringing fag- 
gots, branches, small trees, everything that 
could be lifted and carried and thrown into 
the fosse that ran around the walls, to fill it up 
so the storming party might stand their 
ladders on it. At dawn the people of the 
town saw the preparations for storming. 
They rushed to the churches and besieged the 
Bishop to save them. As the bugles outside 
the walls blew the assault, the frightened 
burghers had prevailed with the garrison and 
a flag of truce was hoisted. Without striking 
one blow the town surrendered. Early on Sun- 
day morning, July 10, the King and Joan, side 
by side, and with banners flying, entered with 
the army and received the submission of all 
within its gates and heard Mass in the 

They were now half-way to Eheims and 
the march had been a pleasant one. They 
might have rested as long as they liked at 
Troyes, but Joan was for the road without de- 
lay. Inside the year must her work be done, 
she asserted. So the very next day the Grand 
March to Eheims, the army grown more joyful 
and enthusiastic than ever, was resumed. 
Chalons was the next big town to be en- 


Chalons, another fifty miles off to the north 
and near Eheims. The French army grew in 
numbers greatly by voluntary accession to its 
ranks at every stopping place. The news of 
Troyes' surrender went ahead of the army, so 
when Joan and the Dauphin reached the main 
gate of Chalons they were met by the Bishop 
and the city council with the keys. And the 
word was passed on to Eheims quickly that 
Chalons was happy in its restored allegiance 
to its rightful sovereign and requested a place 
for honorable representation at the coming 

" Joy, joy ! Freedom to-day ! " was every- 
body's song, and every countenance was 
radiant all around Joan. 

Only she, herself, was gravely serene. She 
was not surprised at this bloodless march — 
only glad. She met at Chalons a friend from 
Domremy. He congratulated her on her series 
of triumphant marches. From Vaucouleurs 
to Chinon but a few months before. From 
Chinon to Orleans. From Orleans to Patay, 
and now to Eheims. Evidently she had noth- 
ing to fear. " Only treachery and betrayal," 
she answered. From all the signs she gave of 
her mission being Heaven-sent, she could not 
awaken any generous co-operation in men like 


At La Perte, the people came to meet the 
army, offering fruits and cakes, and escorted 
it in a body several miles on the road. The 
Maid was riding with the Archbishop of 
Rheims who had joined the party at Chalons, 
and was in a happy mood. " This is a good 
people," she said, " I have seen none elsewhere 
who rejoiced as much at the coming of so noble 
a king. How happy should I be if, when my 
days are done, I might be buried here!" 

" Jeanne," said the Archbishop to her, " in 
what place do you hope to die?" 

" Where it shall please God," was her saintly 
answer. " I am not certain of either the time 
or the place, any more than you are yourself. 
Would it might please God, my Creator, that 
I might retire now, abandon arms and return 
to serve my father and mother, and to take care 
of their sheep with my sister and my brothers, 
who would be so happy to see me again." 

On July 16 the army was halted by a deputa- 
tion sent from Rheims to meet and conduct 
the Dauphin into the city. Joan had told 
him long before to " have no fear for Rheims, 
the burghers of the city will come out to meet 

The Cathedral towers were in view and as 
the word passed from rank to rank that they 
were at Rheims and that its burghers had 


come out to welcome them, the whole army 
broke out Into cheers upon cheers, and Joan's 
name went up with a mighty shout that was 
caught up and carried even into Eheims. 

At the Archbishop's Palace the Dauphin and 
Joan were lodged and preparations for the 
solemn coronation, on the morrow were con- 
tinued all through the night. 

Rheims had never known so grand a day. 
Every one was in holiday costume and holiday 
mood, and nothing was spared from public or 
private purse to give the town a joyous, 
gorgeous face. 

Sunday, July 17, offering of the Holy Sacri- 
fice of the Mass began at dawn. Every church 
was filled. But the Cathedral was the center 
of attraction. At the abbey church of St. 
Remi, was kept the " Sainte Ampoule " or flask 
of holy oil with which King Clovis, nearly a 
thousand years before, and every king of 
France after him, had been anointed. 

A stately procession of ecclesiastics escorted 
by military guards brought the holy oil from 
St. Remi to the Cathedral, through streets lined 
with the people on their knees who could not 
get into the already thronged Cathedral. 

The coronation ceremony began at nine 
o'clock of the morning of July 17. We have de- 
scriptions of it from letters to the Queen of 


France and her mother, the Queen of Sicily, 
by Pierre de Beauvais and two other gentle- 
men of their suite whom they had sent on to be 
present and to send them accounts of the 

" A right fair thing it was to see that fair 
mystery, for it was as solemn and as well 
adorned with all things thereto pertaining, as 
if it had been ordered a year before." And 
then they describe and name the five great men 
of France who, on prancing war steeds, ac- 
companied the Archbishops bearing the holy 
oil into the Cathedral, riding right down the 
four hundred feet of its broad nave right 
down to the chancel, backing their steeds 
out all the way again to the main door. 

Then a mighty flood of music from four 
hundred silver trumpets announced the en- 
trance of the Dauphin. The roll of the organ, 
and the chanting of the choir, timed his march 
down the long aisle formed by his happy 
people. Joan was by his side. Behind him 
the chivalry of France in its gayest plumes, 
and the dignitaries of the Church from all the 
surrounding cities, and all the great generals 
and governors in the rich dresses of those 

At last the King Iinelt in front of the altar. 
He took the oath and was solemnly anointed 


with the magnificent ritual of the Church for 
the occasion. 

The Crown of France was brought to him 
on a cushion, and kneeling he took it and 
placed it on his head, amidst the breathless 
silence of the twenty thousand hearts that 
almost stopped for awe of the wonder of it. 
Only a moment's awestruck silence — then the 
crash of the organ, the blare of the trumpets, 
the ringing of the bells broke out all at once 
and together. 

The Te Deum was raised and the cannon out- 
side added its deep boom until the over- 
wrought people wept for very ecstasy of grate- 
ful joy. 

Joan wept too — though her face was raised 
and she noted not the tears as she embraced 
the King's knees and said: 

" Gentle King, now is accomplished the Will 
of God, Who decreed that I should raise the 
siege of Orleans and bring you to this city of 
Rheims to receive your solemn sacring, thereby 
showing that you are the true king and that 
France should be yours. My work which was 
given me to do is finished ; give me your peace 
and let me go back to my mother, who is poor 
and old, and has need of me." 

The King raised her up and before all that 
host of people acknowledged his immense debt 

Joan of Arc at the Crowning of the King at Rheims. 


to her and begged her to name what should be 
her recompense. He had previously confirmed 
titles of nobility on her and her family. 

" You have saved France. Speak ! What- 
ever grace you ask shall be granted you, though 
it make the kingdom poor to meet it." 

And that wonder of the world, that con- 
queror of whole armies and leader of other 
armies, into whose hands at a word, fell for- 
tresses and cities, whose march across France 
had been like a tornado to her foes, like a sum- 
mer's sun and rain to her famishing friends, 
the noblest woman ever born save one, thought 
of her humble childhood's home and asked 
simply that its yearly taxes be remitted. Only 
this would she accept. 

" She has won a kingdom and crowned its 
king," said Charles, after a pause ; " and all 
she asks is this poor grace, and this not for 
herself, but for others. Her act is in propor- 
tion to the dignity of one who carries in her 
heart and head riches which outvalue any that 
any king could add, though he gave his all. 
She shall have her way. It is decreed from 
this day forth Domremy, natal village of Joan 
of Arc, Deliverer of France, called the Maid 
of Orleans, is freed from taxation forever." 

At two o'clock the coronation services were 
over, and Joan and the King of France sol- 


emnly marclied down the long nave together. 

Joan's work was ended. The siege of Or- 
leans had been raised (May 8) ; the power of 
the English in France had been broken for- 
ever at Patay (June 18), and now the king 
was crowned with the authority and ceremo- 
nies and crown of Clovis, Pepin, Charlemagne 
and St. Louis. 

She sat up that night and talked of home 
and mother with her father and the brother 
of her mother, the old uncle Laxart, who had 
been the one to first listen to the story of her 
mission and lend his countenance and help 
to its first step. Now he would escort her 
home again to her mother and her spinning. 


"Now let me go back to my poor old mother who haa 
need of me. The King detains Joan as head of his 

God can do all things and nothing is hard 
or impossible to Him. 

And so His accredited and empowered 
agent, the little maid from the woods of 
Lorraine, made no wonder of the series of 
lightning-like victories that in four months 
changed France from a prostrate people at 
the feet of England, disheartened and dis- 
couraged beyond hope, getting ready to yield 
to the inevitable and become a province of 
England, to a new and buoyant nation, once 
again, with hands and face uplifted in joyous 
gratitude to the God of nations who sent them 
so unexpected deliverance. 

With the crowning of the King at Rheims, 
on June 17, 1429, Joan of Arc's unique mission 
was also crowned in triumph and her heaven- 
appointed task finished. 

To be sure, the English still held Paris, the 
French capital, but that was only a matter of 
another day's effort. To-morrow the French 


army would march on Paris and take it with- 
out fail for their king, its rightful occupant. 

That was the well-understood plan all 
around. Outlined by Joan, accepted by the 
king, and looked forward to eagerly by the 
army, whose banner and lances were already 
weighted with more victories than they could 
keep proper count of, and no losses at all. 

Even the English expected to lose Paris 
immediately, unless something desperate was 
done to hold it. The Duke of Bedford sent a 
frantic message to England on June 16th for 
more men and arms. He said : 

" The Dauphin has taken the field ! He will 
be crowned on the 17th! And he will march 
to take Paris on the 18th ! ! '. " 

Bedford hastily drew from the surrounding 
districts and from Normandy all the troops 
that could be spared to concentrate in Paris. 
At the same time he renewed and strengthened 
his alliance with the French Duke of Bur- 
gundy, and had him send a messenger to 
Eheims asking the newly crowned king to 
delay the march on Paris for a fortnight, on 
the pretense that he would try to arrange its 
delivery to Charles without fighting. 

It was a brazen piece of treachery, because 
he and Bedford wanted just that fortnight to 
get reinforcements from England. 


Burgundy's messenger arrived at Rheims 
the very day of the coronation and had no 
great trouble in persuading the king and his 
council to grant the delay. 

When he was gone they began to weigh mat- 
ters. They would have to go on some kind of 
a warpath to keep up appearances and let the 
people see something was being done. They 
had let Joan believe they would go to Paris 
at once. Now they were not going — at least, 
not just yet. 

What could Joan say? Well, she was no 
longer commander-in-chief. She was going 
back to Domremy and it was really none of her 
business. They made the bargain with Bur- 
gundy without her advice and they must keep 
it. She did not matter now. 

Ah ! but she did matter ! Before the troubled 
eyes of some of those war chiefs rose the 
vision of that slender white mailed figure and 
her shining banner, that was for them light 
and strength, and day after day, turned defeat 
into victory. They knew in their hearts there 
had been no winning except in the wake of 
that banner. They knew that all their valor 
and military skill counted less than the mere 
sight to the army of that inspired child ; that 
her voice was more potent at St. Loup, St. 
Jean le Blanc, the Augustins, the Tourelles, 


Meung, Beaugency, Patay, Jargeau, Troyes, 
Rheims, and twenty other meetings with the 
foe, than had been their loudest cannon. How 
could they head an army without her! At 
least, just yet. Their only knowledge of vic- 
tory — those old soldiers had to say it — was 
when her stainless sword pointed the way. 

No! They could not spare her now. They 
might have their councils without her. But 
they must have her in front of their war 

So Joan, talking to her father and her uncle 
Laxart, about to-morrow's glad trip home to 
her mother was interrupted to hear that the 
King wanted her. An escort of nobles was at 
the door to conduct her to the king, who was 
in council. She bade good-night to her father 
and uncle and promised to meet them early 
in the morning, and went at the summons of 
the king. 

She found him and his council in session. 
They rose at her entrance, for though they put 
the slight on her of time and again holding 
meetings without her, yet in her presence, 
humble and gentle though she was, they felt 
they were in the presence of a superior. They 
might not have said as much even to them- 
selves, but her holiness and her heroism awed 


them into a deference shown only to the king 

" What is this ? " she said on entering ; " a 
council of war? When there is only one thing 
to do, there is no need of counsel. There is 
only one thing to do. To-morrow march on 
Paris ! It is yours for the asking. Surely you 
are not going to delay for even one day. The 
Duke of Bedford must not have even one day's 
chance to reinforce." 

There were fine men as well as mean men in 
that council, and the records of that day tell 
us that their faces lit up at Joan's words, 
while the angry looks of the others revealed 
to Joan that there was some conspiracy afoot. 

She appealed by a look and a gesture to the 
King. He told her of their decision, that she 
must for the present stay with the army as 
commander-in-chief. He put it as a command 
on her. 

Joan's face fell and for a space she spoke no 
word. She was lost in thought or in prayer. 
At last she broke out in a questioning tone: 

"And march to Paris to-morrow?" The 
king looked at La Tremoille. La Tremoille 
looked down, pale but silent. Joan looked 
beseechingly from one to the other, then at the 
chancellor, whose most persuasive voice 
vouched the explanation: 


" Would it be courteous, your Excellency, to 
move so abruptly from here without waiting 
for a word from the Duke of Burgundy ? You 
may not be aware that we are negotiating with 
his Highness and there is likely to be a fort- 
night's truce — on his part a pledge to deliver 
Paris to the king without cost to us of a fight 
or the fatigue of a march thither." 

Poor Joan of Arc ! Hero of so many glorious 
fights for France! It was her turn to quiver 
and grow pale. She stared dumbly at the 
speaker and then said slowly in a half whisper: 

"Treachery and cowardice!" 

The king's minister and the chancellor rose 
to their feet at the words, but the king mo- 
tioned for silence. She went on still quietly 
and slowly, as if dictating a letter: 

" We took Orleans on the 8th of May, and 
could have cleared the country round it in 
three days and saved the slaughter of Patay. 
We could have been in Eheims six weeks ago, 
and in Paris now, and see the last Englishman 
leave France before the year is out. But we 
struck no blow after Orleans — we counseled 
and counseled, instead of fighting, and gave 
Bedford time to reinforce Talbot and so had to 
fight the strengthened English at Patay. So 
at Chinon, so at Gien, councils of war sapping 
our time and giving strength to our enemies. 


Now again we are counseling instead of march- 
ing immediately on Paris. O my king, speak 
the word. Bid me march on Paris to-night." 

The chancellor saw the king's eye light. He 
hurried to interpose : " March on Paris ! The 
road bristles with English strongholds." 

Joan snapped her finger : 

" That ! for your English strongholds," she 
said. " English strongholds bristled in our 
way before. Where are they now? They 
are French strongholds, and they cost us no 
time, little trouble and less blood. That was 
the talk before we came to Rheims. We met 
the English strongholds and they were ours 
for the asking. We left a line of French for- 
tresses behind us on all our marches. Eouse, 
gentle king, Paris calls you. You have but to 
show your face before its gate and it is yours. 
I promise it to you. I who promised you Or- 
leans and Eheims and kept my promises. 
Will you not listen to me now ? " 

" It is madness, sire," said La Tremoille, 
" we must treat first with the Duke of Bur- 

"We shall treat with Burgundy," said Joan, 
and as all eyes turned on her in surprise, she 
added : " — at the point of the lance ! " 

And the spirit that emanated from her so 
often when she cried " to the assault ! " seemed; 


to flood the room now and catch the king in 
its wave. He handed his sword to Joan, " You 
have won," said he, " carry it to Paris." 

Joan waited for no more. She flew to her 
own quarters, calling on La Hire from the 
door of the council chamber to summon the 
generals to meet her in an hour. It was then 
midnight. The excitement of the last days 
surely warranted her to seek some rest. But 
France called, and there was no rest for Joan 
while France's interest was even in remote 
'danger. She dictated a letter at once, and sent 
it at once, to the Duke of Burgundy. < 

She informed him of the coronation of his 
lawful sovereign and reminded him of his 
duty as a Frenchman to send in his allegiance 
without delay. It was his wisest course be- 
side, she said, for nothing on earth could now 
prevent Charles VII from winning Paris and 
every town in France from the English. With 
the English she wished to make no peace. 
They must leave France. God willed they 
should not be left in France. As for himself, 
if the great Duke of Burgundy wanted fight let 
him join with his king, and let them both go 
together and rescue the Holy Land from the 

That was the message that the deliverer of 
France sent to her recalcitrant countryman, 
the Duke of Burgundy. 


As it proved, he was not equal to the Maid's 
magnificent program. Instead he lent him- 
self to the duplicity and doomed fortunes of 
the English invaders of his country. 

Then she saw the generals, gave her com- 
mands, sent a last message to the dear old 
father and imcle. 

At dawn the vanguard moved out of Rheims 
and faced Paris with bands braying and ban- 
ners flying. The second division followed a 
few hours later. Joan's impatence would not 
wait for them. 

But they all met the ambassadors of Bur- 

On June 18, Joan of Arc and the vanguard 
of the French army left Rheims to take Paris 
from the English. 

It was September 8 — the Feast of the 
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin — before the at- 
tack on Paris was begun. 

Nearly three months trying to do what 
Joan had expected to do in three days. It 
would be a long and thankless task to record 
the doings of the army during those three 

Joan's constant urging to go forward, the 
just as cons-tant urging of the king's ministers 
to be in no hurry. 

Hoping to win over the Duke of Burgundy 


from the English alliance, the king did not 
want to reach Paris but to give plenty of time 
to Burgundy to give it up of himself. 

Wishing to please Joan the army must be 
kept going with its face some of the time at 
least towards Paris. So it was one step for- 
ward and two sideways and back, every day. 
Meanwhile there was a score of small towns 
on the way mastered by the English that had 
to be taken. These towns lay in their round- 
about march to Paris in the valleys of the 
Seine, the Oise, the Marne and the Yonne, as 
they flowed into each other in the race to the 
sea. Marconi, Soissons, Laon, Compiegne, 
Chateau Thierry, Senlis, Beauvais and a half- 
dozen other cities, handed over their keys wil- 
lingly enough to their sovereign and to the 
Maid. But the bloodless capture of these 
towns did not require a day each, so that fully 
sixty days were spent killing time, giving Bur- 
gundy and Bedford every chance to concen- 
trate at Paris. 

The towns they took were sad losses to the 
English and permanent gain to the French, es- 
pecially Compiegne, which like Orleans, was 
a fortified key to a whole territory. D'Alencon 
wrote from Compiegne: 

" The Maid is in sorrow for the king's long 


tarrying at Compiegne. It seems he is con- 
tent, in his usual way, with the grace that 
God has done him and will make no further 

The Maid wrote a letter to Rheims dated, 
" On the road to Paris, August 5 " : 

" Dear and good friends and loyal French- 
men, the Maid sends you news. It is true the 
king has made a fifteen days' truce with the 
Duke of Burgundy who is to give up to him 
the town of Paris peacefully on the fifteenth 
day. Although the treaty is made I am not 
content; and am not certain that I will keep 
it. If I do, it will be merely for the sake of 
the king's honor, and in any case I will keep 
the king's army together and in readiness, at 
the end of the fifteen days, if peace is not 

But Joan could not save the king against 
his will, nor would she raise her standard 
without his authority. The English army was 
also in the field in the same time-killing way. 

There in the neighborhood of Paris, in the 
valleys formed by the Oise, and the Seine and 
the Yonne and the Marne, the two armies 
skirmished around all summer, sometimes 
facing each other, for a day, without coming 


to blows. Bedford wrote a challenge to 
Charles, addressing him, " You who were wont 
to style yourself the Dauphin, and now call 
yourself king." 

Just like an Englishman, he laid all the 
blame of the wars in France, and all the con- 
sequent wretchedness of the French people, 
on the head of Charles. In pious frenzy he 
accuses him of insulting Almighty God by 
marching in the protection of a woman 
dressed like a man, and of beggarly friars. 
He challenged him to come out in the open and 
fight men, not women nor monks. But all this 
was to gain time. 

The English could not be induced to come 
out of their earthworks. The Maid and 
D'Alencon were always trying to get the En- 
glish to come out, and skirmishes forced by 
her were of daily occurrence. 

At last the weary marching and more weary 
waiting to march, the secret treaties and the 
open insults, the skirmishes and retreats, and 
saucy challenges that brought no result, came 
to an end before the gates of Paris on Sep- 
tember 7. 

Joan ordered the bugles at noon to sound 
the assault before the gate of St. Honore. 

The assault was made with all the vim that 
characterized Joan's previous work. The gate 


was almost won, and with it Paris would be 
won, when Joan was struck by a crossbolt and 

Badly wounded as she was she refused to 
retire. " I will take Paris now or die," she 

D'Alencon carried her oflf by force, she cry- 
ing out : " I will be here in the morning early, 
and in half an hour we will take Paris." 

In the morning the king forbade the attempt 
on Paris. He had a new embassy from the 
Duke of Burgundy. 

Bedford had taken his own troops out of the 
city and left it to Burgundy's defense, and 
Burgundy and the king juggled and quibbled 
and perpetrated some curious specimens of 
give-and-take treaties, which after some play at 
words and swords, ended by the king taking 
himself and his army off to the Loire again 
and leaving Burgundy to think it over safely 
in Paris. 

It was a most inexplicable arrangement. 

Joan was broken-hearted. But as became 
a saint she had no word of reproach for the 
king. She knew his bad advisers were to 
blame. It was of little use to blame them. 
They did not care for her blame. She also 
knew in her heart of hearts that though the 
freedom of France was delayed it was sure in 


the end, and if the good God in Heaven could 
be patient with these men, surely she must be 

So she hung her shining armor in the Cathe- 
dral of St. Denis, the ancient burial place of 
the kings of Prance, and went to the king once 
more, begging him to let her go back to her 
former humble, quiet life. 

But the king refused to let her go. There 
were still many towns to recover and to keep. 
France needed her. And more than all, her 
Voices said: 

" Remain at St. Denis." 

They did not say why. But they were to 
(her God's command. She would stay. But 
jeven in this La Tremoille, through the king, 
crossed and balked her. Wounded and help- 
less, she was carried off with the army all the 
way back to Gien, beyond Orleans. Here the 
king disbanded the army. For the present, 
there was no more fighting to do. Burgundy 
held Paris for the English and the king had 
promised not to molest him — at least for the 

And yet nothing could save the situation 
for the doomed English. Bedfor(i wrote home 
to the king of England : 

" All things prospered with us till the great 


stroke at Orleans. After that divers of your 
great cities and towns: Rheims, Troyes, Cha- 
lons, Laon, Sens, Provins, Senlis, Lagny, Creil, 
Beauvais and the substance of the counties of 
Champagne, Beauce, and a part of Picardy, 
yielded to Charles VII without resistance or 
awaiting succors." 

And he, the Duke of Bedford, in this letter 
to the English, blames the great losses of the 
English to the presence in the French army of 
a young woman, who for four months inspired 
the army with a most incredible enthusiasm. 
He begged that the king of England come over 
himself and be crowned in France, for France, 
and to bring men and money as much as pos- 
sible. Bedford went himself to England to 
press personally his appeal for help. 

This was late in September. All October 
and November was spent by the Maid in clear- 
ing up the country about the Loire. With a 
small force she appeared before one town 
after another that had not yet given in their 
allegiance. Sometimes her simple demand was 
enough; sometimes, as at La Charite, things 
went ill and the duty of the people to their 
sovereign had to be sent home with the point 
of the lance. But for the most part Joan's 
commission as commander-in-chief of the wars 
was an empty title. 


The truce with Burgundy was to last till 
Easter of 1430. Meanwhile Joan spent a large 
part of the time visiting the places she had 
won from the English. At Rheims and Or- 
leans she was received by the people in her true 
character — a messenger of God. 

In Easter week (April 17-23) she was in 
Melun with her handful of lancers. For ten 
years Melun had had an English garrison. 
At Joan's word the townsfolk rose, ejected the 
garrison, and threw open the bridge over the 
Seine, which meant the freedom of the town 
to Joan's army. 

As she stood on the ramparts of the bridge, 
reviewing the scene, thanking God for a good 
day's work easily done, her Voices, silent for 
some time, came to her with a warning that 
before St. John's day she should be captured 
and imprisoned. 

They bade her be of good heart for they 
would be her help. 

That very day the young king of England, 
Henry VI, landed at Calais with an army, and 
the Anglo-Burgundian forces encamped at 
Compiegne, like Orleans, a strategic point 
commanding the road to Paris from the north. 

On May 6 the French king, his eyes opened 
at last, wrote to Rheims that the Duke of Bur- 


" Has never had, and now has not, any in- 
tention of coming to terms of peace, but 
always has favored our enemies." 

Joan heard of the concentration of the en- 
emy at Compiegne. At midnight she started 
with a band of about four hundred, and en- 
tered Compiegne about sunrise. 

She heard Mass, then told her troopers to 
rest. All day she consulted with the garrison 
and made her plans. 

In the meadow on the other side of the 
bridge leading over the river into the town 
was the advance guard of the besiegers, an 
isolated outpost. Up and down the river were 
other English camps. 

About five o'clock she got her men together 
and in the evening the Maid gave the word, 
and a sudden sally was made on the nearest 
outpost while its men were unarmed. It was 
soon put out of commission and its occupants 
scattered. Joan and her lancers were retreat- 
ing again into the town, when Jean de Luxem- 
burg, of Burgundy's camp, happened to be 
riding by with a small force. He saw the 
sortie, and he dashed up to prevent Joan's 
return over the bridge to Compiegne. Twice 
she forced him ofif and called to her men to 
back into the town. She like a valiant leader 


riding in the rear. Now all her men were in 
the gates; only a few of those nearest her— 
d'Aulon, her brothers, and a few more. The 
English and Burgundians swarmed from other 
outposts. They got between her and the draw- 
bridge. They drew nearer and nearer, around 
her, and at last an archer reaching out seized 
her cape and dragged her from her horse. 

She was borne in triumph to the camp of 
the Burgundians as the prize of Jean de Lux- 
emburg — she and the men with her — the whole 
English and Burgundian camp roaring with 

That was on the 24th of May, 1430. Joan 
of Arc was a prisoner. 


France is free — Joan a prisoner of tlie English King. 

Joan of Aec fell into the hands of her 
enemies on May 24, 1430. It was just a year 
since she sent her first message to the English 
from the Gate of Orleans, begging them, in 
God's name, to take themselves out of France, 
to their own country, or they would come to 
great hurt. They had answered that message 
with jeers, and promised, when they caught 
her, they would burn her alive. 

During that year she had taken from them 
their gains of a hundred years. At the head 
of a much smaller army than theirs she had 
driven them out of one town after another, 
up and down the banks of the Loire, and in the 
broad valleys of the Seine, between Orleans 
and Rheims; and from Rheims westward and 
north, their many garrisoned gates were open 
to her almost at her simple word and to the 
handful of French soldiers that followed her, 
and the allegiance of the towns made secure 
to Charles. 



Through very fear of her white banner in 
the vanguard of the approaching French, the 
English soldiers had deserted in such numbers 
that it became impossible to follow them up. 
The traditional fear of the French at the sight 
of an English soldier, was changed to a state 
of panic among the English soldiers at the 
mere sight of the white figure on horseback 
in the van of a few French troopers. 

The whole face of France, nay, the heart 
and soul of France as well, were newly risen 
to a strong, proud national life, in which Eng- 
land would nevermore have part. 

Paris and Rouen and a few other towns 
which they still held, she warned them would 
soon be taken from them likewise, and not an 
Englishman left in all France, where the Eng- 
lish had ruled and ruined for three genera- 

There was no accounting for this extraor- 
dinary change, as sudden as it was thorough, 
except by the presence of this inspired and 
inspiring girl, who claimed to be sent from 
God to do just this work. " For this was I 

But now they had this warrior maid, this 
light and life of the French army in their own 
hands, under lock and key. 

She was theirs to do as they liked with. 


And thei'eupon rose up a great ado. What 
should they do with her? 

De Luxemburg, who had pulled her off her 
horse, carried her in triumph to his quarters 
in the camp, the whole Anglo-Burgundian 
army following at his heels roaring for joy. 

She was the center of a mad whirl of men 
anxious to get sight of her who had been the 
nightmare of their dreams for the past year. 
And humble, gentle Joan looked at them more 
in pity than in fear, for they were largely 
Frenchmen who had sold themselves to the 
service of the conqueror, but whom she knew 
would make good French subjects yet. 

The Duke of Burgundy hastened to see the 
distinguished captive. He gazed dazedly at 
her for some time as if trying to pierce the 
secret of her great power. To his sneers and 
taunts and insolent questions she answered 
with a simple dignity and truth, common to 
brave hearts, and which the soldier-courtier 
could never emulate. When he asked was she 
not afraid of his vengeance, she told him 
calmly that nothing could happen to her but 
by the will of God, to which she bowed joy- 
fully. All the more joyfully because she was 
assured that no matter what befell her now, 
the complete freedom of France was the matter 
of a few years at longest, and that no power 


on earth could help the English to hold France 
now. Her people would rise again to great 

In turn she bade him tremble for himself 
unless he returned to his lawful allegiance and 
became a good Frenchman. 

All of which was lost for the time on Bur- 
gundy. He liked to think the English would 
soon lose their hold on France, but he thought 
himself a better man than Charles VII, to hold 
the reins and govern France in place of the 

Burgundy and Luxemburg sent joyous 
despatches, hither and thither, telling of the 
capture of the Maid of Orleans. The Duke 
of Bedford seemed crazy with joy when he 
heard it in Paris. He immediately sent word 
to Burgundy that the captive was the prop- 
erty of the King of England, in whose pay 
Luxemburg was. She was prisoner of war to 
Henry VI. " I must have the ransom of a 
prince for her," said Luxemburg. 

By the military usage of the time ten thou- 
sand livres of gold — over sixty thousand francs 
— was the ransom price for a prince of the 
blood royal. If offered for Joan it could not be 

After three or four days Luxemburg re- 
moved Joan to a safer place in his strong 


castle at Beaulieu, while he went on with the 
siege of Compiegne. 

D'Aulon who was captured with the Maid 
was allowed to remain with her at Beaulieu. 

D'Aulon told afterwards at the trial, that 
when they found themselves thus removed 
from sight and news of Compiegne, he said 
to Joan : 

" That poor town of Compiegne, which you 
have loved so dearly, will now be placed in 
the hands of the enemies of France." 

" It shall not be," answered Joan, " for no 
places which the King of Heaven has put in 
the hands of the gentle King Charles by my 
aid, shall be retaken by his enemies, while he 
does his best to keep them." 

All through June and July Joan was kept 
at Beaulieu while her friends and her enemies 
were deciding what to do about her. 

The Archbishop of Embrun wrote to 
Charles VII : 

" For the recovery of this girl and for the 
ransom of her life, I bid you spare neither 
means nor money, unless you would incur the 
indelible shame of most disgraceful ingrati- 

But Charles did not, probably could not, do 


anything to rescue her. He bowed to the will 
of God, too, likely thinking one so miracu- 
lous could help herself out of this difficulty as 
she had helped him and the army out of worse, 

Besides he was not an autocrat, and the 
same power that prevented him marching 
straight to Paris the day after his coronation, 
and taking it as the Maid urged him to do, 
prevented him now offering any ransom for his 
hitherto invincible commander-in-chief. 

She was a prisoner of war and as such was 
safe for the present even in the hands of the 

In Rheims, Troyes, and many other cities 
that had known her inspired presence, the 
people gathered for public prayers for her 
restoration, and patriotic priests went among 
the people to collect money for her ransom. 
But the People had been brought to such 
poverty by the long cruel wars, there had been 
for so long a time no national government and 
no coinage of money, that there was little 
money among the people to collect. 

Two months passed and no ransom was of- 
fered from any quarter, or, if offered, was not 

The Duke of Bedford and his advisers were 
not certain what to do. As a political prisoner 


they dare not do away with her violently. 
Even if the French King did not resent it, the 
very act would make her a hero more than ever 
and would fire the French heart to even 
greater deeds of valor than her Mving presence 
inspired. No ! she must be brought down from 
her high esteem in the minds of the French 

Bedford got the Vicar General of the In- 
quisition to demand Joan from Burgundy to 
be tried as a heretic. 

The University of Paris, too, was induced 
to ask for her trial as an offender against the 

Both the University of Paris and the oflScers 
of the Inquisition in France were overruled 
by the English. For fifty years the Duke of 
Bedford and the King of England had named 
the heads of both institutions. 

But Burgundy hesitated to give her up. 

Meanwhile Joan one day saw her door left 
open and the key left in the lock. She walked 
out unhesitatingly, turned the key in the lock, 
locking in her jailer, and fled. But she was 
seen and brought back. 

The effect of this was her removal to Beau- 
revoir, to a strong castle with a tower sixty 
feet high. Her confinement here was com- 
paratively pleasant. She had the friendly 


companionship of de Luxemburg's good old 
aunt, his wife and daughter. She heard Mass 
every day, confessed and received Holy Com- 
munion and recovered her health and strength, 
and, -for a time, her peace of mind. But here 
she was told one day that Compiegne was still 
in a state of siege, and was likely to be cap- 
tured, and, if captured, every man, woman 
and child would be put to death, in revenge 
for so long and so stubborn a resistance. 

It was an exaggerated report but it flred 
Joan's heart with a desire to help her country- 
men, and she, who had heard unmoved the 
slanders and threats of the English against 
herself, personally, could not bear to think of 
so good a people so slaughtered. In her agony, 
and, as she told afterwards, at the trial, 
against the advice of her heavenly councillors, 
she tried to escape from the tower. She was 
found bruised and unconscious, at the foot of 
the tower and for three days was like one 
dead. But to the astonishment of her jailers 
she was not seriously hurt. She would rather 
have died, she said, than hear of the massacre 
of her people; and would rather have died 
than fallen into the hands of the English. 

At her trial, later, when she was questioned 
about this incident and if she did not think 
it wrong to wish to die, she denied the attempt 


was made with any such wish. Her hope was 
to escape. But her heavenly guides told her 
afterwards she must confess and ask God's 
pardon for that, and that she must be content 
to stay as she was, until she would see the 
little King of England — " and indeed I have 
no wish to see him," she pathetically added. 

Her recovery was aided very much by the 
news that Compiegne was saved to the French. 
The skill of its captain, de Flavy, and the fine 
courage and endurance of its poor people were 

The Duke of Burgundy and de Luxemburg 
had to take their forces off. The consequent 
expense and losses made them more than ever 
willing to sell Joan to the English, for they 
needed the money. 

Joan grew fond of the good, kindly French- 
women at Beaurevoir, Jean de Luxemburg's 
wife and daughter and his old aunt who, ac- 
cording to Joan's testimony, " begged Jean de 
Luxemburg not to hand me over to the Eng- 
lish." These ladies treated Joan with every 
kindness possible, but to their entreaties to 
her to abandon the male costume in which she 
was captured, she always replied, " it is not yet 
time." Her dress as a soldier, was a symbol 
of her mission, and not in her enemies sight 
would she renounec either. 


She said afterwards in her trial : 

" I would have changed my fashion of dress, 
if it had been within my duty, at the request 
of these ladies, rather than for any soul in 
France, except my Queen." 

Five months of suffering and anxiety passed 
over Joan in prison while her enemies were 
making up their minds how to compass her 
death under semblance of legal execution. She 
was no rebel. To put her to death for op- 
posing English supremacy would only make 
a hero of her, and fire the French to complete 
her work of clearing out the enemy. No, her 
memory must be made execrable. And they 
conceived the plan of convicting her by an 
ecclesiastical court, of crimes against the 

That would save England from execration 
and cover Joan's name and that of Charles 
VII, as her accomplice, with the most dreaded 
kind of infamy. 

A ready tool for this wicked scheme was 
found in Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais. 
When Joan and the King took Beauvais in the 
memorable days after the coronation, the 
Bishop refused to change his allegiance from 
the English to the French King, and preferred 
to fly to Paris to the Duke of Bedford's pro- 


Bedford now sent this Cauchon to the Bur- 
gundian camp to claim Joan in the name of 
the English King, Henry VI. He paid the 
10,000 livres gold demanded for her, though 
Bedford could have really taken her without 
the ransom seeing that Luxemburg was in his 
pay and thus of his own side in the war. Cau- 
chon not only was the medium of transfer of 
the heroine to the English, but he claimed the 
right to try her on the ground that she was 
captured in his diocese. 

Cauchon brought his victim to Rouen. It 
was the heart of the English power. It was 
the residence of the Regent Bedford. Its in- 
habitants had almost forgotten they were 
French, so long were they in English power. 
It was a strongly garrisoned town. So to 
Rouen Joan was brought just after Christmas, 
and flung into prison strongly chained and 
with two Englishmen, John Gray and William 
Talbot, to stay in her cell night and day for 

As a suspected heretic she was to be al- 
lowed no Mass, no confession, no sacraments, 
no friendly face, no woman near her day or 
night to give her help or sympathy. 

Yet even her jailers testify she never lost 
her gentle iignity, never cried nor complained. 

She was but a few days in irons when the 


shameless de Luxemburg came to her prison 
with two English Earls, Warwick and Staf- 
ford, with a proposal to set her free if she 
would promise not to fight the English army 
any more. 

" You but mock me," she answered. " I 
know that you have neither the power nor the 
will to set me free. I know that the English 
are going to kill me, for they think that when 
I am dead they can get the Kingdom of 
France. It is not so. Though there were a 
hundred thousand of them they will never get 

It is told that Lord Stafford got so furious 
at her quiet defiance, he drew his dagger and 
would have struck her but for Warwick. 
Warwick saved her life another time when 
some English soldiers of Rouen proposed to 
sew her up in a bag and drown her to be sure 
of her death. Warwick quieted them with a 
promise that they should see her die, and 
soon, to be sure enough of it. 

Meanwhile, Cauchon, as chief prosecutor, 
was preparing for the trial of Joan. In his 
desire to compass her ruin he and his aids 
blindly piled illegality upon illegality. 

In the first place they claimed her as a 
prisoner of the church. As such she should 
have been in an ecclesiastical prison, un- 


chained and courteously treated and with ac- 
cess to the sacraments and with women about 

This she repeatedly begged for but without 

Her jailers would tell her if she would give 
her promise not to try to escape she would 
not be chained, hands and feet. But her 
courage and her adherence to the cause for 
which she suffered forbade her giving her 
word of honor in that way. She held it her 
right to try to escape and she would not say 
that she would not if she could. 

On January 3d, 1431, Henry VI, oflScially 
handed Joan over to the " Ecclesiastical " 
court gathered together by the traitorous 
Bishop of Beauvais. Henry's document pro- 

" It is our intention to repossess ourselves 
of her, if she be not convicted of High Treason 
to God." 

She was now as it were in the hands of the 
church. But the Earl of Warwick was her 
jailer. It was in his castle at Rouen she was 
imprisoned. She should be in a churchman's 
guard. As a minor she should have had coun- 
sel, and she asked for it but Cauchon would 
not even answer her, and, " for fear of the Eng- 
lish " nobody interfered for her. 


The trial was appointed to be held in the 
castle, though it was pointed out to Cauchon 
that it should be held in open court to secure 
fairness on both sides. Cauchon paid no at- 
tention to that either. 

There was a great trouble at the very be- 
ginning of the preliminaries of the trial. 

Cauchon had picked his jury. There were 
fully fifty distinguished lawyers and clerics 
picked from here and there because of their 
known antagonism to the French Cause, 
Frenchmen — French priests they were, but in 
their sympathies and interests, English. 

The recorders were two decent men, Man- 
chon and Colles, secretly friendly to the Maid, 
and luckily honest men, who recorded only 
what was said and done, and so were in con- 
stant trouble with Cauchon who found fault 
with their records. 

Doctors of the University, Abbots of Nor- 
mandy, Canons of Rouen, were among the as- 
sessors who were to find the Maid guilty of 
treason to the Faith, but they were all chosen 
because of their political bias to the English, 
and afraid of their lives to say a word that 
Warwick or Bedford would not like. Besides, 
they probably had not the grace of God to see 
that Joan was inspired by heaven for the 
rescue of her country. Content with English 
domination, because it promised personal 


advantage to themselves, these interested 
guardians of the faith, saw nothing holy or 
heavenly in the Maid, and their hearts were 
hardened and their eyes blinded to any claim 
for pity or justice on her part. 

When Joan found that the court to try her 
was made up of churchmen in the interests of 
the English, she begged that an equal number 
of priests of the French party be added. Of 
course there was no heed to her request. Nor 
did she expect there would be, but she was a 
brave girl and would not knowingly fail to 
assert her right, useless though she knew it to 

She also pleaded for counsel, as she was so 
young and inexperienced in law and theology. 
But no, she must do the best she could alone, 
and further, no friend of her cause was to be 
called as a witness. She was to be sole wit- 
ness for defense and prosecution. 

When Cauchon was ready to go on with the 
trial Jean de Lohier, representing the Inquisi- 
tion was to be one of the chief judges. Lohier 
came to Rouen from Paris and carefully ex- 
amined beforehand the process. He said 
promptly and bravely that: 

" In his view Jeanne could not be proceeded 
against in matters of faith except on evidence 
proving that there was a 'fama', popular 


report, against her; the production of such 
information was legally necessary." 

Lohier asked for three days to consider the 
documents, and then declared that the mode 
of trial was not valid. The manner of trial 
was not valid : first, because it was held in a 
castle where men were not at liberty to give 
their full and free opinions; secondly, because 
the honor of the King of France was im- 
peached; he was a party in the suit and yet 
was not represented; thirdly, the accusation 
had not been given to the Maid that she might 
prepare her answer, neither had she counsel to 
answer for her, and she was a simple girl to 
be tried in matters of deep faith. 

To the Chief Registrar, Manchon, Lohier 

" It seems to me there is more hate than 
desire of justice in this action; and for this 
reason I will not stay here, for I do not wish 
to be in it." 

And he left Rouen and Paris and went to 
Rome for safety. 

Cauchon decided to go on without him. 

Another of the judges, Nicoles de Houppe- 
ville, said the whole procedure was invalid 
since the accused had been tried for the same 
causQ a year before by the Superior Court of 
the Archbishop of Rheims and acquitted. Oau- 


chon replied that the Archbishop of Rheims 
made a mistake that time at Poitiers, and had 
not since recognized the Maid as orthodox, 
and he put De Houppeville in prison for his 

In the getting together of the evidence Cau- 
chon employed a spy, Pere Loyseleur, to go to 
Joan's cell, and introducing himself as a sym- 
pathizing fellow-countryman from Lorraine, 
drew her out and tried to get confession from 
her of deceit in the matter of the Voices, while 
Cauchon had his ear to a place so formed as to 
catch every whisper. They got nothing for 
their pains, for Joan had nothing to tell of 
deceit on her part or her Voices. 

On January 13 all the evidence was exam- 
ined by the " Board ", and such as was useful 
fixed up for use and other parts rejected. By 
January 19, there was a plausible array of 
accusations put together in a " Preliminary 
Instruction ", a sort of cut-and-dried affair, 
in which the Maid was made to confess all 
that Cauchon wanted. The whole Process 
was a jumble of illegalities and hypocrisies 
and foul insinuations and attempts to trap 

Gross however as the injustice was, there 
were certain barriers within which even Cau- 
chon and his accomplices had to work their 


wicked wills. As there were fearless Canon- 
ists like Lohier, who, as members of a great 
International Bar, were independent of any 
king or court, so the notaries being apostolic 
and imperial officers, were in no way amenable 
to Cauchon or his crew. We have luckily 
their faithful records of the trial — one of the 
most appalling dramas in all history. 


The lamb in the midst of the wolves. The mock trial. 

How shall one write of the trial of Joan of 
Arc! The cruel, illegal mockery of justice, 
called the trial of Joan of Arc ! How describe 
the savior of France, the embodiment of patri- 
otism and purity, the child leader of victori- 
ous armies, the girl winner of great battles, the 
womanly angel of camp and court, so sud- 
denly and so utterly alone in the midst of a 
host of enemies thirsting for her death. 
Hundreds of classic penmen have described 
that tragic drama for us through the centu- 
ries since, with one bias or another, according 
as their sympathies were pro-English or pro- 
French, anti-clerical, or enthusiastically de- 
vout and hero worshipful. But we know 
Joan of Arc now for a saint, and the cheer 
and the sneer are alike hushed in awe as the 
finger of God is seen in every act of that 
drama, and in every answer of that unlearned 
child of the fields, to the deep questions on 
faith and morals put to her by learned doctors 
of the schools, for her discomfiture, as they 
thought, but for their own discomfiture, as 


they found. A lamb in a den of wolves. No 
matter which way she answered, she was al- 
ready condemned. And not one voice raised 
to counsel or defend her. 

There is no irreverence in seeing in her 
arraignment before a horde of venal French 
priests and English soldiers, a resemblance, 
in divers points, to the howling of the mob in 
Pilate's house, " Crucify Him ! Crucify 
Him ! " that ended in the divine tragedy on 
Calvary at the hands of Jewish priests and 
Roman soldiers. The same mockery of law, 
the same utter loneliness of the victim, the 
same hypocritical combining of religion and 
politics to make assurance of condemnation 
doubly sure. The same ingratitude for good 
accomplished, the same holy horror at the 
supernatural claims supported by so many 
signs and prophecies, and yet denied as out- 
rageous and impossible. The details of this 
long-drawn-out harrowing of the Maid of 
Orleans before her final martyrdom, are full 
of keenest interest for us, because in it are 
laid bare the heart and soul of this most 
unique human spirit. In it we get an insight 
into God's ways in the affairs of men, into 
how human a saint may be; how holy a mere 
mortal may be; how wise and safe it is to 
follow God's lead and abandon one's will to 


His will ; and how utterly foolish and futile to 
propose and plan big things without taking 
God's interests into account. In the chapel 
of the vast, fortressed castle of Rouen, owned 
and occupied by the Earl of Warwick and his 
men at arms, was commenced, at eight o'clock 
in the morning of February 21, 1431, the trial 
of the Maid of Orleans. 

It was now eight months since she was 
captured before the gates of Gompiegne. 
Eight months' idle waiting for the active 
spirit who in one year undid a century's war! 
Most of that time she was in easy captivity 
among her own countrymen and country- 
women; but since Ghristmas she was in the 
cruel keeping of the Earl of Warwick, bound 
like a wild beast and denied the Mass and the 
Sacraments, and the presence of a woman, or 
a friendly face, or one kind counsellor. The 
English were impatient for her death. Since 
her capture the white flag of truce waved in 
many parts waiting till she would be dead to 
go on with the fighting more securely. An 
English army waited at Galais for months, 
loath to go into France until assured the 
" witch-warrior " was removed. An impor- 
tant siege in another place suspended opera- 
tions, pending word of her execution. 

And yet it took three months for the cow- 


ards and hypocrites to manufacture sufiflci- 
ient excuse for her death, that would at the 
same time remove her bodily presence from 
their path, and damn her memory for the 
French. She had already, by a pompous doc- 
ument, been handed over by the King of 
England to the EngMsh tools that infested the 
Church in Paris and Eouen. Chief of these 
was Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, who 
had been driven from his See by his own 
people because of his English politics. Rouen 
had no archbishop since the last incumbent 
died some years before. The Holy See could 
not recognize the English government there, 
and the English government would not toler- 
ate a true Frenchman, so the Archbishopric 
remained vacant. The fugitive Cauchon 
being a Bishop, albeit a fugitive, assumed the 
lead in church affairs in Rouen without any 
authority except the political backing of the 
English garrison. With that backing, and all 
it promised of pelf and preferment, Cauchon 
had no trouble in getting tools enough to do 
his bidding and give the appearance at the 
same time of justice and fair play. There are 
among the historians of that time a great 
variety of opinions as to his relative vindic- 
tiveness in the whole proceedings. It certainly 
is between him and his English masters that 


Joan was spared no cruelty, no indignity, no 
injustice. She should have been in a church 
prison as she was tried as an offender against 
the Faith. Instead she was jailed like the 
worst criminal. She should have had counsel. 
She should not have been condemned out of 
her own mouth alone, without even one wit- 
ness for or against her. 

Cauchon had no legal jurisdiction for the 
trial any more than for the government of the 
ecclesiastical functions, but he assumed all the 
jurisdiction and no one was able to prevent 
or even criticize one who had the English king 
and the Duke of Bedford behind him. 

From the University of Paris he got more 
of the same kind as himself to sit with him in 
the judgment. 

The University of Paris was one of the 
great law schools of Europe. Civil law and 
Canon law were studied by thousands of 
young men under hundreds of professors, 
unchallenged for accuracy and keenness and 
depth of their learning. But here again Eng- 
lish influence had damned righteousness. For 
a quarter of a century Paris had been in 
English hands, and English politics had 
driven to the law schools of Florence and 
Bologna, the true Frenchman from the Paris 


It was easy for Cauchon to find fifty and 
more learned men in the university, to come 
to Rouen and say " Amen " to his cut-and- 
dried condemnation of the Maid of Orleans 
as a heretic and a witch. On the 21st of 
February, 1431, forty-two of the doctors, 
learned in civil and canon law, — the number 
varied from forty to seventy some days — sat in 
a semicircle on both sides of Bishop Cauchon, 
who occupied a throne in the center. 

Before and a little below them sat numer- 
ous clerks and reporters, with pens and paper 
ready to take down as ordered all that would 
be said and done. 

Three of these in particular, were the offi- 
cial recorders of the proceedings, and to the 
records of these, translated into Latin, and 
still preserved, we are indebted for the account 
of the trial. On a raised dais, in a clear space 
in front and to one side, in full view of every- 
body, was a seat for Joan. The body of the 
chapel was full of English soldiers and retain- 
ers of the Earl, as much as it would hold. 
Probably numbers of the citizens of Rouen 
were present also, for we read in the account 
of the trial that because of the tumult and 
applause on the first day it was no more held 
in the chapel, but in another and more private 
hall of the castle. Among the judges, regis- 


trars, clerks, etc., there were few if any 
Englishmen. But it was well understood, not 
only by the pathetic little victim sitting in the 
midst, but by the circles of judges and report- 
ers that hemmed her round, that outside of all 
these was all the power of the English King 
and court and army, to urge and hurry and if 
need be force the sentence of ignominious 
death. Three Registrars, each with his clerks, 
took down the proceedings publicly: but be- 
hind curtains were two English Clerns under 
the direction of Loyseleur, a renegade priest, 
who had tried secretly to wring damaging ad- 
missions from Joan, while he had concealed 
witnesses, listening. 

The Public Registrars had their difBculties 
from the very beginning. The notes taken by 
them at the morning sittings were read over 
in presence of some of the Bishop's assessors 
at his house in the afternoons, and compared 
with those made by the concealed English 
clerks. They did not always agree, and then 
there was trouble. Between what they recorded 
and what Cauchon wanted them to record 
there were many discrepancies, and there were 
long arguments from the Bishop to make 
them to suit. But to their credit the Regis- 
trars were honest. One of them especially, 
named Manchon, secretly friendly to Joan, and 


a fearless man, stood by the truth and fought 
for it. He it was who finally drew up all the 
notes in a complete form — they were then 
translated into Latin by another recorder, 
Thomas de Courcelles, and in this shape are 
preserved intact to this day. Judges and re- 
corders and clerks were all early in their places 
and the chapel filled to its utmost on the 
morning of that February 21, when the call 
was given : " Produce the accused." 

There was a great buzz, then a silence deep 
and painful, and then the sound of clanking 
chains came gradually nearer. All eyes were 
on the pathetic little figure in a page's suit 
of soft, dead black, moving slowly because of 
the chains, until the pale face was raised 
directly before the double row of judges or 
assessors, as they were called and are called 
in the documents. For a brief space of time 
she stood and the clear gaze ran along the 
lines of judges as if searching for a smile or 
a kind look. But the guards shoved her to her 
place on the dais and she seated herself, gath- 
ering her chains into her lap and holding them 
there. Her white face scanned the rows of 
judges, the row of registrars and their clerks, 
among whom were some sympathizers, though 
none dared avow themselves so. It is told 
that as her eyes rested on the lines of English 


soldiers in the body of the chapel, one soldier 
meeting her look respectfully put his hand to 
his head, giving her the military salute. With 
a friendly smile she put up her chained hand 
to her head, and returned the salute, whereat 
there was a little burst of applause which the 
judge sternly rebuked. 

The trial began with the reading of the 
royal letters conveying Joan to the hands of 
the court for trial, letters of the chapter of 
Kouen giving concession of territory to the 
Bishop of Beauvais. Then Jean d'Estivet, ap- 
pointed by the court promoter of the case, 
summarized with a great show of legal forms 
the circumstances of the case and the public 
reports and suspicions on which it was based. 
Then he called upon Joan to kneel and take 
oath that she would answer truthfully and 
exactly the questions to be put to her. 

Did the grave great judges in two solemn 
rows before her, scare the lonely little woman 
or throw her off her guard? Their demand 
that she take oath to speak the truth was ap- 
parently reasonable enough. 

But Joan's simplicity and candor were her 
strength. Calmly and very gently she refused 
to take the oath, saying: 

" No ; for I do not know what you are going 
to ask me; you might ask of me things which 


I would not tell you." Cauchon got angry 
and excited immediately. He forgot the dignity 
with which he opened the court. He said, ris- 
ing his voice : " Swear to speak truth on the 
things which shall be asked you concerning 
the Faith and of which you know." 

" Of my father and mother and of what I 
did after taking the road to France, willingly 
will I swear ; but of the revelations which have 
come to me from God, to no one will I speak or 
reveal them, save only to Charles, my King; 
and to you I will not reveal them, even if it 
cost me my head, because I have received them 
in visions and by secret counsel, and am for- 
bidden to reveal them." 

At this, every one, it seemed, of the forty- 
two judges had something to say of threat or 
command, until in a lull in the tumult Joan 
begged : " Prithee, speak one at a time, fair 
lords, then will I answer all of you." 

For whole hours they argued and threatened 
in vain to force Joan to take an unmodified 
oath. She herself was the only one not ex- 
cited. Finally they agreed to let her take oath 
under the conditions she said. She sank to her 
knees at once, put her two hands on the Mass 
book before her, and swore solemnly to tell the 
truth on what should be asked of her on mat- 
ters concerning the Faith and her work in 


Then she was asked her name and surname, 
age, place of birth, and such like questions 
touching her own personal history. 

" In my own country (Lorraine was on the 
borders of France) they called me Jeannette; 
since I came into France I have been called 
Jeanne. Of my surname I know nothing. I 
was born in the village of Domremy, which is 
really one with the village of Greux. The 
principal church is at Greux. My father is 
called Jacques d'Arc, my mother, Ysabelle. I 
was baptized in the village of Domremy. * * * 
I was, I believe, baptized by Messire Jean 
Minet; he still lives, so far as I know. I am, 
I should say, about nineteen years of age. 
From my mother I learned my Pater, my Ave 
Maria, and my Credo." 

" Say your Pater." 

This was from Cauchon, and suddenly. The 
idea was to hint at witchcraft for it was sup- 
posed a witch could not say the Our Father. 
But Joan resented the imputation. 

" No, I will not say my Pater to you unless 
you will hear me in confession." 

Many times the effort was made to have her 
say the Our Father, but her answer was still, 
"Hear me in confession and I will say it wil- 
lingly." Having already exhausted some hours 
in trying to force her oath and have her say 


the Pater, the court prepared to rise. Cau- 
chon ordered her back to prison. She had 
hoped for a change of prison. Cauchon for- 
bade Joan under pain of great penalty to try 
to leave the prison which had been assigned her 
in the castle. 

" I do not accept such a prohibition," she an- 
swered. If ever I do escape, no one shall 
reproach me with having given my word to any 

" You have before this, and many times 
sought, we are told, to escape from the prison, 
where you were detained and it is to keep you 
more surely that it has been ordered to put 
you in irons." 

"It is true I wished to escape; and so I 
wish still ; is not this lawful for all prisoners? " 
And again they had to content themselves 
without getting her promise. 

Then John Gray was appointed solemnly as 
chief jailer to Joan, with John Berwoist and 
William Talbot as assistants, and all three 
were made to swear, with their hands on the 
gospels, to keep her close and let no one see 
her or speak to her without order from Pierre 
Cauchon — and they were further ordered to 
bring the prisoner next morning at eight 
o'clock in the ornament room of the same 
castle for continuance of the trial. Thus ended 


the first day of the most dramatic trial of a 
prisoner for life on record in all history. 
There were forty-two learned men against one 
woman that the world would call ignorant. 
Yet she proved a match for the great array of 
technical talent, because versed in the science 
of the saints which single-eyed, keeps God and 
God's interest in sight always and so makes 
no mistakes. The grueling lasted for three 
months, with intermissions which the judges 
needed more than did their victim. They even 
showed her at the first, as a reminder to be 
careful of her answers, the torture room and 
hinted at its possibilities. In the face of this 
tribunal, learned, able, powerful and preju- 
diced, the peasant girl of nineteen stood like a 
rock, unmoved by all their cleverness, un- 
daunted by all their severity, never losing her 
head nor her temper, her modest steadfastness 
nor her high spirit. 

The oiHcial record of the first day ends thus : 
" Finally, having accomplished all the pre- 
ceding, we appointed the said Jeanne to appear 
the next day, at 8 o'clock in the morning, be- 
fore us, in the ornament room, at the end of 
the great hall of the Castle of Kouen." 


" In spinning and sewing I do not fear any woman in 

February 22, at eight o'clock in the morn- 
ing, Pierre Cauchon and his peculiar ecclesias- 
tical court increased from forty-two of the day 
before to forty-eight judges, were in their seats 
ready for the second day's trial of Joan of Arc 
for treason to the Catholic Faith. 

To one of the judges, Jean Beaupere, a 
reverend doctor of theology from the Univer- 
sity of Paris, was given the privilege of chief 

The plan of the day was to trap her into 
saying something contrary to Christian doc- 
trine, or something that would cast doubt on 
the heavenly nature of her revelations, or 
something that would give any color of witch- 
craft to her miraculous triumphs. 

Of her direct and deadly opposition to the 
English invasion of France, there was no doubt 
nor secret, and, of course, for this she was 
amenable to English law, and liable to quick 
and cruel death at the hands of her English 


captors. But that was never England's way. 
A hero's death would leave her memory a 
source of strength to French arms. She must 
be discredited. 

It must be shown that her miraculous 
powers came from the demon and not from 

An ecclesiastical court at Poitiers examined 
her a year before, when she first came to the 
king for the rescue of Orleans. 

That court decided that her mission and her 
Voices were from God. 

But she was in different hands and she must 
be proved to do wonders in the name of Beel- 
zebub, so the English could bum her with 

" Bring in the accused." And for a second 
time the gentlest, purest, bravest heart in 
France faced that throng of angry men— seek- 
ing from herself an excuse to do away with her 
as unworthy to live. 

The evening before, Cauchon had spent an 
hour with a man whom he had sent to Dom- 
remy to collect evidence against Joan, espe- 
cially her connection with the Fairy Tree in 
that village. The man had brought back from 
Domremy and five adjacent parishes, a great 
deal of testimony in praise of Joan, from 
young and old, and as he said himself, " such 


things as he would like to hear said of his own 
sister." But not one word that showed she 
frequented the neighborhood of the fairy tree. 

The Bishop was furious and sent him off 
without one franc of the promised wage he 
was to get for his time and trouble. 

A further ruffle to Cauchon's temper was 
occasioned by Joan's jailer, Massieu, who, con- 
ducting her to and from her prison, allowed 
her in passing the chapel door, to pause for a 
moment's adoration, outside the closed door, 
of the Blessed Sacrament kept within. Joan 
had begged it — she who asked no favors of her 
jailers else. 

Cauchon warned Massieu not to let " the Ex- 
communicate " again have such privilege if he 
did not want to lose his head. 

Another vexation Cauchon suffered »vas the 
defection of one of the judges who expressing 
his disapproval of the whole proceedings fled 
the country. 

Cauchon opened the proceedings the second 

" You are now required to take oath to an- 
swer truly all questions asked you." 

" I made oath yesterday, my lord, let that 

The bishop flared up at the quiet refusal 
and insisted. For a long time he urged and 


commanded, Joan simply shaking her head in 
refusal. At last she said slowly and firmly : 

" I made oath yesterday, let that suffice. 
Of a truth you do burden me too much." 

Cauchon, disgusted and chagrined, turned 
to Beaupere and bade him go on with the in- 

Rev. Jean Beaupere, doctor of theology, 
began graciously: 

" Now, Jeanne, the matter is very simple. 
You are to answer truly the questions I put to 
you as you have sworn to do." 

But Joan was not to be caught by gracious- 
ness any more than by bad temper. 

" You may well ask me some things on which 
I shall tell you the truth, and some on which 
I shall not tell you anything. If you were 
well informed about me, you would wish me 
well out of your hands. I have done nothing 
except by revelation." 

" How old were you when you left your 
father's house? " 

" On the subject of my age I cannot vouch." 

"In your youth did you learn any trade?" 

" Yes. I learned to spin and to sew. In 
spinning and sewing I do not fear any woman 
in Rouen." 

This was greeted with some applause, and 
a pleased expression lit up her face for a mo- 


" Had you other occupations at home? " 

" Yes. I helped my mother in the household 
work and went to the pastures sometimes with 
the sheep and cattle." 

Asked about her religious duties she an- 
swered : 

" Every year I confessed myself to my own 
Cur6, and, with his permission to another 
priest, when he was prevented. Sometimes 
also, two or three times, I confessed to the 
mendicant friars; this was at Neuf chateau. 
At Easter I received the Sacrament of the 

" Did you receive the Sacrament of the Eu- 
charist at any other time but Easter?" 

Several times was this question put to her, 
but as if she would say, " Why do ye tempt 
me, ye hypocrites ? " she refused to answer, 
merely saying: 

" Pass on to things you are privileged to 
pry into." 

Beaupere winced, but passed on to the ques- 
tion of her Voices : 

" When did you first hear these Voices ? " 

" I was thirteen when I first heard a Voice 
coming from God to help me to live well. I 
was frightened. It came at mid-day, in my 
father's garden in the summer." 

"Had you been fasting?" 


" Yes." 

"The day before?" 

" No." 

" From what direction did it come? " 

" From the right. From towards the church. 
It came with a bright light; rarely do I hear 
it without its being accompanied by a bright 
light. This light comes from the same side as 
the Voice. Generally it is a great light. Since 
I came into France I have often heard this 

" But how could you see this light you speak 
of, when the light was at the side? " 

Joan brushed aside this question as un- 
worthy an answer, and went on : 

" If I were in a wood I could easily hear the 
Voice which came to me. It seemed to me to 
come from lips I should reverence. 

" I believe it was sent me from God. When 
I heard it for the third time, I recognized thai' 
it was the Voice of an angel. This Voice has 
always guarded me well and I have always 
understood it; it instructed me to be good and 
to go often to church ; it told me it was neces- 
sary to come into France." 

"In what form did the Voice appear?" 

Joan hesitated a moment, looking into her 
questioner's face, and then said quietly: 

" As to that I will not tell you." 


"Did the Voice seek you often?" 

" Yes. Twice or three times a week it said 
to me : 'Go into France.' I could stay no 

"What else did it say?" 

" That I should raise the siege of Orleans." 

"Was that all?" 

" No ; I was to go to Vaucouleurs and Robert 
de Baudricourt would give me soldiers to go 
with me to France. I replied that I was a 
poor girl, who did not know how to ride, 
neither how to fight. At last I went to my 
uncle and said I wished to stay near him for a 
time. I remained with my uncle eight days. 
Then I said to him : ' I must go to Vaucoul- 
eurs.' He took me there. When I arrived I 
recognized Robert de Baudricourt, though I 
had never seen him. I knew him, thanks to my 
Voice, which made me recognize him. I said 
to Robert : ' I must go into France.' 

" Twice Robert refused to hear me and re- 
pulsed me. The third time, he received me, 
and furnished me with men; the Voice had 
told me it would be thus. The Duke of Lor- 
raine gave orders that I should be taken to 
him. I went there. I told him that I wished 
to go into France. 

" The Duke asked me questions about his 
health; but I said of that I knew nothing. I 


spoke to him a little of my journey. I told 
him he was to send his son with me, together 
with some people to conduct me into France, 
and that I would pray to God for his health. 
I had gone to him with a safe conduct from 
Vaucouleurs and from him I returned. From 
Vaucouleurs I departed for the Dauphin." 

"How were you dressed?" 

Now this was her chief sin in their eyes — her 
man's dress. 

The Court at Poitiers, over which an Arch- 
bishop had presided, had tried her on this 
and other matters, and decided that as she had 
a man's work to do, it was proper for her to 
wear a man's dress. 

But this court made no account of that de- 

" How were you dressed ? " And every ear 
was keen for the answer. 

The answer came quickly and simply : 

" I wore a man's dress, and also a sword 
which Robert de Baudricourt gave me, but no 
other weapon." 

" Who advised you to wear the dress of a 

She paid no heed but went on : 

" I had with me a knight, a squire, and their 
servants, with whom I reached the town of St. 
Urbain, where I slept in an abbey. On the 


way later I passed through Auxerre, where I 
heard Mass in the principal church. Thence- 
forward I often heard my Voices." 

" Who counseled you to take a man's dress? " 

At last she answered : " With that I charge 
no one." 

" What did Baudricourt say to you when 
you were leaving?" 

" He made them that were with me promise 
to conduct me well and safely, and to me he 
said : ' Go, and let come what may ! ' " 

Again the subject of her man's dress was 
brought up: 

" Did your Voice advise you to wear man's 
dress ? " 

" I believe my Voice gave me good advice." 

That was as definite an answer as they could 
get. Then she was asked how she happened 
to be let near the king. 

" I went without hindrance to the king. 
Having arrived at the village of St. Catherine 
de Fierbois, I sent for the first time to the 
castle of Chinon, where the king was. 

" I wen t to the king who was at the castle. 
When I entered the room where he was I rec- 
ognized him among many others by the coun- 
sel of my Voice, which revealed him to me. I 
told him that I wished to go and make war on 
the English." 


" When the Voice showed you the king, was 
there any light ? " 

" Pass that ! " 

" Did you see an angel over the king? " 

" Pass that ! Before the king set me to work 
he had many apparitions and beautiful revela- 

"What revelations and apparitions had the 

" I will not tell you. It is not time to an- 
swer about them ; but send to the king and he 
will tell you. The Voice had promised me 
that as soon as I came to the king he would 
receive me. 

" Those of my party knew well that the Voice 
had been sent me from God ; my king and 
many others, I am sure, have also heard the 
Voices which came to me. 

" There were there Charles de Bourbon and 
two or three others." 

"Do you still hear the Voices?" 

" There is not a day when I do not hear my 
Voices; indeed I have much need of them." 

" What do you ask of them?" 

" I have never asked any recompense but the 
salvation of my soul." 

" Did the Voice tell you to follow the 

" The Voice told me to remain at St. Denis. 


I wished to do so, but, against my will, the 
lords made me leave. If I had not been 
wounded I should not have left." 

" When were you wounded ? " 

" In the moat before Paris, in the assault." 

"Was it a Festival day?" 

" Yes, it was a Festival." 

Now they had her. She acknowledged she 
made an assault, and it was a Feast day of the 
Church. The next question was supposed to 
annihilate her: 

"Is it right to make an assault on a Fes- 

If she said " Yes " her piety could be im- 
peached. If she said " No " then her own 
conduct and the integrity of her counsel 
could be impeached. 

After just a moment's thoughtful pause 
Joan said : " Let it pass." As if to say : we 
are not the judges of the right or wrong of it. 
It is done, let it stand. 

The record ends : " And as it appeared 
that enough had been done for to-day, we have 
postponed the aflfair to Saturday next, at 8 
o'clock in the morning." 

The great men were tired after the four or 
five hours' anxious searching into the poor 
girl's life and motives with such meager 
results. As for her, she was fasting in the first 


place and there was no rest for her body in the 
hard unbacked seat. Her woman's heart must 
have sank like lead at the cold cruelty mani- 
fested towards her, and the hypocrisy shown 
in the name of Catholic piety. 

In connection with this second day's pro- 
ceedings, the sworn testimony of a Rouen 
theologian, Master Nicholas de Houpperville, 
one of the judges, is pertinent here. 

He swore at the enquiries instituted some 
years later : " I was called at the beginning of 
the Process. I could not come the first day. 
When I presented myself the second day I was 
not admitted. I was even driven away by the 
bishop, because, talking one day with Master 
Michel Colles, I had told him that it was dan- 
gerous for many reasons to take part in this 
Process. This was repeated to the bishop ; and 
for this cause he had me shut up in the king's 
prison at Rouen, whence I was delivered only 
by the prayers of the Lord Abbot of Fecamp; 
and I heard that some whom the bishop sum- 
moned, advised that I should be exiled to Eng- 
land or elsewhere beyond the bounds of Rouen, 
had I not been delivered by the Abbot and his 

" I never thought that zeal for the faith, 
nor desire to bring her back to the right way, 
caused the English to act thus." 


"If I be not in the state of grace I pray God place me 
in it." 

Friday, Joan had a day of rest — if rest it 
might be called — in prison. Comparative rest, 
for though Cauchon and the Earl of Warwick 
visited her in her prison they did not stay long 
and they did not ask her many questions. 

Manchon, the chief recorder of the trial, and 
one to whom we are indebted that it is handed 
down so true in all its details, tells of this 
visit to Joan in prison, for he accompanied 
them. They went to gaze at her as they might 
go to see a dangerous animal, captured and 
safely caged to ensure public safety. 

There were three keys to her prison. The 
English Cardinal or his secretary carried one, 
the representative of the Inquisition carried 
another, and the Promoter of the trial carried 
the third. 

For the king and statesmen of England had 

paid a thousand pounds for her, and had 

promised an annuity of three hundred pounds 

to the Burgundian soldier who had captured 



her. They valued their prize too highly to let 
her out of their mind or sight for a whole day. 

Three English soldiers were locked in with 
her, and besides these she saw no one except 
by special permission of Warwick or Cauchon. 
The Duchess of Bedford was asked to have her 
examined by competent women in the begin- 
ning and this was done. The Duchess ap- 
pointed two women who pronounced Joan " a 
maiden pure and good," and the Duchess forth- 
with warned her husband to see that no harm 
came to the girl's honor. 

Nevertheless, Joan retained her dress of a 
man for better safety; and her ignorance of 
the English language saved her from the coarse 
talk of her jailers, who played cards and 
cracked jokes all day, unmindful of her unless 
when they piously wished she was dead so 
they might have a change of scene and occupa- 

On Saturday, February 24, early in the 
morning was opened the third day of the trial. 
The Bishop and sixty-two assessors present. 

The accused was brought in wearily drag- 
ging her chains, and then the same struggle 
began as on the two other days, the struggle 
to make her swear unreservedly to answer 
truly all their questions. 

Jn the exact words of the Evidence: 


" We did require the aforenamed Jeanne to 
swear to speak the truth simply and absolutely 
on the questions to be addressed to her, with- 
out adding any restrictions to her oath. We 
did three times thus admonish her. She an- 
swered : 

" ' Give me leave to speak. By my faith ! 
You may well ask me such things as I will not 
tell you. Perhaps on many of the things you 
may ask me I shall not tell you truly, espe- 
cially on those that touch on my revelations; 
for you may constrain me to say things that 
I have sworn not to say ; then I should be per- 
jured, which you ought not to wish.' And 
then she looked keenly at the Bishop and said : 

" ' I tell you, take good heed of what you 
say, you who are my judge; you take great re- 
sponsibility in thus charging me. I should say 
that it is enough to have sworn twice.' " 

But the hectoring went on. We have it 
word for word in the documents, and none of 
it is immaterial for it concerns this great 
drama of five hundred years ago, newly revived 
through the recent action of the Church in 
giving Joan to us as a mediator with God. 

Gauchon seemed not to notice her warning, 
but asked again: 

" Will you swear simply and absolutely ? " 

"You may surely do without this. I have 


sworn enough already, twice. All the clergy of 
Eouen and Paris cannot condemn me if it be 
not law. Of my coming into France I will 
speak the truth willingly; but I will not say 
all : the space of eight days would not suffice." 

" Take the advice of the Assessors whether 
you should swear or not." 

" Of my coming into France I will speak 
truth willingly; but not of the rest. Speak 
no more of it to me." 

" You render yourself liable to suspicion 
in not being willing to speak the truth abso- 

" Speak to me no more of it. Pass on." 

" We again require you to swear, precisely 
and absolutely." 

" I will say willingly what 1 know, and yet 
not all." 

And holding out her manacled hands, she 
said in most appealing tones: 

" I am come in God's name ; I have nothing 
to do here ; let me be sent back to God, whence 
I came." 

" Again we summon and require you to 
swear, under pain of going forth charged with 
what is imputed to you." 

" Pass on." 

"A last time we require you to swear, and 
urgently admonish you to speak the truth on 


all that concerns your trial, you expose your- 
self to great peril by such a refusal." 

Now he had said it, " on all that concerns 
your trial." Not " absolutely and precisely." 
If he had said it so at first it would have been 
all right, but they thought to spring it on the 
child. But she was wiser than they deemed 
her and saw the point. 

" I am ready to speak the truth on what I 
know touching the trial," was her quick re- 
sponse in a relieved tone of voice. 

Disgusted with his seeming victory that was 
really a victory for her, Cauchon turned to 
Beaupere and bade him question her—which 
he did as follows. We give it word for word, 
as it is in the Records : 

" How long is it since you have had food 
and drink ? " 

" Since yesterday afternoon." 

This and subsequent inquiries as to Joan's 
habit of fasting was to prove a weak bodily 
health that might prove her visions merely 
hallucinations. Joan's usual meal was bread 
dipped in wine and water. 

" How long Is it since you heard your 

" I heard them yesterday and to-day." 

" At what hour yesterday did you hear 


" Yesterday I heard them three times — once 
in the morning, once at Vespers, and again 
when the Ave Maria rang in the evening. I 
have even heard them oftener than that." 

" What were you doing yesterday morning 
when the Voice came to you ? " 
" I was asleep ; the Voice woke me." 
" By touching you on the arm ? " 
" It awoke me without touching me." 
" Was it in your room ? " 
" Not so far as I know, but in the Castle." 
" Did you thank it and did you go on your 
knees ? " 

" I did thank it — sitting on the bed ; I joined 
my hands; I implored its help. The Voice 
said to me ' Answer boldly ! ' I asked advice 
as to how I should answer, begging it to en- 
treat for this the counsel of the Lord. The 
Voice said to me : ' Answer boldly ; God will 
help thee.' Before I had prayed it to give me 
counsel, it said to me several words I could 
not readily understand. After I was awake it 
said to me ' Answer boldly ! ' " 
Turning full on Bishop Cauchon : 
" You say you are my judge. Take care what 
you are doing; for in truth I am sent by God, 
and you place yourself in great danger." 
Beaupere then continued; 


" Has this Voice sometimes varied in its 
counsel? " 

" I have never found it to give two contrary 
opinions. This night I heard it say again 
' Answer boldly ! ' " 

" Has your Voice forbidden you to say 
everything on what you are asked ? " 

" I will not answer you about that. I have 
revelations touching the king that I will not 
tell you." 

Then rising and lifting her face and her 
voice, as if speaking to far beyond her sur- 
roundings, she said while the tears sprang to 
her eyes : 

" I believe wholly — as firmly as I believe in 
the Christian Faith, and that God has re- 
deemed us from the pains of hell, that Voice 
hath come to me from God, and by His com- 
mand. The Voice comes to me from God; 
and I do not tell you all I know about it, for 
I have far greater fear of doing wrong in 
saying to you things that would displease it, 
than I have of answering you." 

" Is it displeasing to God to speak the 

" My Voices have entrusted to me certain 
things to tell to the king not to you. This 
very night they told me many things for the 
welfare of my king, which I would he might 


know at once, even if I should drink no wine 
until Easter; the king would be more joyful 
at his dinner." 

" Can you not so deal with your Voices that 
they will convey this news to your king? " 

" I know not if it be God's will. If it please 
God He will know how to reveal it to the king 
and I shall be well content." 

" Why does not this Voice speak any more 
to your king, as it did when you were in his 

" I do not know if it be the will of God." 

Again her thoughts were above and joining 
her manacled hands she said feelingly: 

" Without the grace of God I should not 
know how to do anything." 

She sat down again with a preoccupied air, 
and looking pitifully weary. Beaupere saw 
his chance: 

" Are you in the grace of God ? " 

Joan was brought back from her dream- 
iness. She turned her face on Beaupere for a 
moment, as if trying to fathom his question. 

It was a big question from a venerable 
doctor of theology to a young girl who ac- 
knowledged she did not know A from B. 

One of the judges, Jean Lefevre, rose in his 
place instantly and cried out : 


" It is a terrible question. The accused is 
not obliged to answer it." 

Poor Joan. It was about the only hint of 
counsel she had had so far in her battle with 
these theologians and logicians. 

Cauchon was angry in a flash. 

" Silence ! Take your seat. The accused 
will answer the question." 

But in the mouth of babes God puts wisdom 
to confound the mighty. While all the court 
held its breath to hear, Joan humbly and 
gently gave the memorable answer to that 
snaring question : 

" If I be not in a state of grace, I pray God 
place me in it; if I am, may God keep me 

Beaupere and Cauchon exchanged glances 
and Lefevre said for all to hear : 

" It was beyond the wisdom of man to devise 
that answer." 

Joan went on : 

" I should be the saddest in all the world 
if I knew that I were not in the grace of God. 
But if I were in a state of sin, do you think 
the Voice would come to me? I would that 
every one could hear the Voice as I hear it. 
I think I was about thirteen when it came to 
me for the first time." 

Talking of her youth brought a new thought 


to Beaupere. He took a new tack in his effort 
to make the poor girl say something damaging 
to her character or the character of her 
Voices. The Fairy Tree was a strong point in 
their attack. But he must come to it in- 
directly so as to catch her unprepared. 

" Has your counsel revealed to you that you 
will escape from prison?" 
" I have nothing to tell you about that." 
" Besides the Voice do you see anything? " 
"I will not tell you all; I have not leave; 
my oath does not touch on that. My Voice is 
good and to be honored. I am not bound to 
answer you about it. I request that the points 
on which I do not now answer may be given 
me in writing. There is a saying among chil- 
dren that sometimes one is hanged for speaking 
the truth." 

" Do the Domremy people side with the 
Burgundians or with the opposite party?" 

" I knew only one Burgundian at Domremy ; 
I should have been quite willing for them to 
have cut off his head — always had it pleased 
" Were the people of Maxey Burgundians? " 
" They were. As soon as I knew that my 
Voices were for the king of France, I loved 
the Burgundians no more." 

" Had you any intention of fighting the Bur- 


" I had a great will and desire that my king 
should have his own kingdom." 

" When you came into France did you wish 
to be a man ? " 

" I have answered this elsewhere." 

" Did you not take the animals to the 

" I have already answered this also. When 
I was bigger and had come to the years of 
discretion I did not look after the animals 
generally. But I helped to take them to the 
meadows and to a castle called The Island, for 
fear of the soldiers." 

" What have you to say about a certain tree 
which is near to your village?" 

This tree, like the man's dress, was one of 
the points on which they hoped to catch Joan. 
If her Voices and the Fairies could be con- 
nected, Joan's condemnation would be swift 
and easy. 

But all unconscious of the malicious intent 
of her questioner, she answered frankly, and 
gave in a few words a graphic history of the 

" Not far from Domremy there is a tree that 
they call 'the Ladies' Tree'; others call it 
' the Fairies' Tree.' Nearby is a spring where 
people sick of the fever come to drink, as I 
have heard, and to seek water to restore their 


health. I have myself seen them come thus; 
but I do not know if they were healed. 

" 1 have heard that the sick if once cured, 
come to this tree to walk about. It is a beau- 
tiful tree, a beech, from which comes the ' beau 
may.' It belongs to the Seigneur Pierre de 
Bourlemont, Knight. I have sometimes been 
to play with the young girls, to make gar- 
lands for our Lady of Domremy. Often I have 
heard old folks — not of my lineage— say that 
the fairies haunt this tree. I have also heard 
one of my godmothers, named Jeanne, wife of 
the Maire Aubrey of Domremy, say that she 
has seen fairies there; whether it be true I do 
not know. As for me, I never saw them that 
I know of. Nor anywhere else that I know 
of. I have seen the young girls putting gar- 
lands on the branches of this tree, and I my- 
self have sometimes put them there with my 
companions ; sometimes we took these garlands 
away — sometimes we left them there. Ever 
since I knew that it was necessary for me to 
come into France, I have given myself up as 
little as possible to these distractions and 

" Since I was grown up I do not remember 
to have danced there. I may have danced there 
when very young with the young children. I 
have sung there more than danced. 


" There is also a wood called the Oakwood, 
which can be seen from my father's door ; it is 
not more than half a league away. I do not 
know and have never heard if the fairies ap- 
pear there; but my brother told me that it is 
said in the neighborhood : ' Jeannette received 
her mission at the fairy tree.' It is not the 
case. I told him the contrary. When I came 
before the king several people asked me if 
there were not in my country a woods called 
the Oakwood, because there were prophecies 
which said that from the neighborhood of this 
wood would come a maid who should do mar- 
velous things. I put no faith in that." 

Joan was heard with great attention and 
the recorders bent over their papers putting 
down every word, and the secret recorders be- 
hind the curtains too, and from Joan's frank 
story of the fairies' tree and the Oakwood they 
made up, as we shall see later, a whole tissue 
of damaging superstitions against her. 

Beaupere had enough to think about for one 
day so he contented himself with one more 
question, harking back to the old subject: 

" Would you like to have a woman's dress ? " 

" Give me one and I will take it and be gone 
from prison. Otherwise no. I am content 
with what I have, since it pleases God that I 
wear it." 


" Since it pleases God that I wear it I am 
content with it." 

There was a saint's answer to a lawyer's 
quibbling question. Beaupere being a theolo- 
gian should appreciate the religious beauty 
of it. But he shut his eyes to that and only 
counted it as a further refusal to abandon 
what they pretended to look upon as a horror : 
" A woman in a man's dress." 

The day's work is duly ended in the records 
in these words : 

" This done, We stayed the Interrogation, 
and put off the remainder to Tuesday next, on 
which day we have convoked all the Assessors, 
at the same place and hour." 


"I will tell willingly whatever I have permission from 
God to reveal." 

Sunday and Monday Joan had a quiet time 
in her chains, and on Tuesday her sweet 
patient countenance was once more turned to 
Bishop Cauchon in the court room as he again 
tried to make her swear to tell the truth in 
everything on which she would be questioned. 

Joan as on the three previous days of trial 
steadily refused to take such an oath, reserv- 
ing to herself silence on matters relating to 
the king, and such as did not concern the trial. 
She would tell the truth on those things she 
might speak of but she would not promise to 
tell all she knew. The effort to make her turn 
spy on her party, on the king of France, and 
his council, and to satisfy the curiosity of her 
questioners as to the appearance and conver- 
sation of her Voices, was made again and 
again but without finding Joan asleep or 

This day there were but fifty-four judges 
present with the Bishop, instead of the sixty- 


two of the preceding day. She was at once 
and several times commanded to take the oath 
to speak the truth on all which should be asked 
of her. But she held out that she had already 
sworn to answer truthfully on everything con- 
cerning the trial. To that oath she would 
keep and would take no other. 

Then the fire opened on the gentle little 
woman sitting all alone with fifty-four pairs 
of eyes bent intently and not kindly on her, 
and as many ears listening for words from her 
that would give them an excuse to condemn 
her as a bad Catholic. 

Beaupere was given the privilege of ques- 
tioning her and began by asking politely, 
"How are you, to-day?" 

" You can see for yourself how I am. I am 
as well as can be." 

"Do you fast everyday this Lent?" 

"Is that in the case?" and as he nodded 
assent — 

" Well, yes ! I have fasted every day during 
this Lent." 

" Have you heard . your Voices since Satur- 

" Yes ! truly, many times." 

"Did you hear them last Saturday in the 
hall while you were being examined?" 

" That is not in the case " — every head 


nodded yes, for it was a question they all 
wanted to ask. 

" Very well, then — ^yes ! I did hear them — 
but up to the moment I returned to my prison, 
I heard nothing that I may repeat to you ! " 

"What did it say to you in your room?" 

" It said to me ' Answer boldly ! ' I take 
council with my Voice about what you ask 
me. I will tell willingly whatever I have per- 
mission from God to reveal." 

" What did your Voice last say to you? " 

" I asked counsel about certain things that 
you had asked me." 

" Did it give you counsel ? " 

" On some points, yes ; on others you may 
ask me for an answer that I shall not give, not 
having had leave. For, if I answered without 
leave I should no longer have my Voices as 
warrant. When I have permission from Our 
Savior I shall not fear to speak, because I shall 
have warrant." 

" This Voice that speaks to you, is it that of 
an angel, or of a saint, or from God direct?" 

" It is the Voice of St. Catherine and of St. 
Margaret. Their faces are adorned with beau- 
tiful crowns, very rich and precious. To tell 
you this I have leave from Our Lord. If you 
doubt this send to Poitiers where I was exam- 
ined before." 


" How do you know if these were the two 
Saints? How do you distinguish them?" 

" I know quite well it is they ; and I can 
easily distinguish one from the other. It is 
seven years now since they have undertaken 
to guide me. I know them well because they 
were named to me." 

" Are these two Saints dressed in the same 
stuff? " 

" I will tell you no more on this point just 
now. I have not leave to reveal it." 

" Are they of the same age? " 

" I have not leave to say." 

"Which of them appeared to you first?" 

"I did not distinguish them at first. » * * 
I have also received comfort from St. Michael." 

" What was the first Voice came to you 
when you were about thirteen ? " 

" It was St. Michael ; I saw him before my 
eyes; he was not alone but quite surrounded 
by angels." 

" Did you see St. Michael and these angels 
bodily and in reality?" 

" I saw them with my bodily eyes as well as 
I see you ; when they went from me I wept. I 
should have liked to be taken away with 

" And what was St. Michael like? " 

" I am not yet free to tell you." 


" What did St. Michael saj to you this first 

" You will have no more about it from me 
to-day. Once I told the king all that had been 
revealed to me, because it concerned him; but 
I am no longer free to speak of all St. Michael 
said to me." 

Turning to Beaupere she said: 

" I wish you could get a copy of the book 
of the trial at Poitiers, if it please God." 

" What sign do you give that you have this 
revelation from God, and that it is Saint 
Catherine and Saint Margaret who talks with 

" I have told you that it is they ; believe me 
if you will." 

" How can you make sure of distinguishing 
such things as you are free to tell from those 
which are forbidden ? " 

" On some points I have asked leave. On 
others I have obtained it. I would have been 
torn asunder by four horses rather than have 
come into France without God's leave." 

" Was it God who prescribed for you the 
dress of a man?" 

" What concerns this dress is a small thing 
— less than nothing. I did not take it by the 
advice of any man in the world. I did not 


take this dress nor do anything but by the com- 
mand of Our Lord and of the Angels." 

" Did it appear to you that this command to 
take man's dress was lawful ? " 

" All that I have done is by Our Lord's 
command. If I had been told to take some 
other, I should have done it, because it would 
have been His command." 

Some cross-questioning followed, trying to 
shake her testimony, that it was by no man's 
advice she took man's dress, and then Beau- 
pere came back to the King of France : 

" Why was your King able to put faith in 
your words?" 

" He had good signs, and the clergy bore me 

" What revelations has your King had ? " 

"You will not have them from me this 
year. During three weeks I was closely ques- 
tioned by the clergy at Chinon and Poitiers. 
Before he was willing to believe me, the King 
had a sign of my mission, and the clergy of my 
party were of opinion that there was nothing 
but good in my mission." 

" Have you been to St. Catherine de Fier- 

" Yes. I heard there three Masses in one 
day. Afterwards I went to the Castle of 
Chinon, whence I sent letters to the King, to 


know if I should be allowed to see him, saying 
that I had traveled a hundred and fifty 
leagues to come to his help, and that I knew 
many things good for him. 

" I think I remember there was in my letter 
a remark that I should recognize him among 
all others. 

" I had a sword that I had received at 
Vaucouleurs ; whilst I was at Tours or at Chi- 
non I sent to seek for a sword which was in 
the Church of St. Catherine de Fierbois, be- 
hind the altar; it was found there at once; the 
sword was in the ground and rusty; upon it 
were five crosses (possibly a Jerusalem cross, 
bearing out the legend that it was a Crusader's 
sword). I wrote to the priests of this place, 
that it might please them to let me have this 
sword, and they sent it to me. It was under 
the earth, not very deeply buried, behind the 
altar as it seemed to me, but I do not know 
exactly if it was before or behind the altar. 
As soon as it was found the priests rubbed it 
and the rust fell off at once without effort. 
It was an armorer of Tours who went to look 
for it. The priests of Fierbois made me a 
present of a scabbard; those of Tours of an- 
other; the one was of crimson velvet; the 
other of cloth of gold. I had a third made of 
leather, very strong. When I was taken pris- 

I offered at St. Denis my sword and armor. 


oner I did not have this sword. I always bore 
this sword of Fierbois from the time I got it, 
up to my departure from Saint Denis after 
the attack on Paris." 

" What blessing did you invoke or have in- 
voked on this sword ? " 

" I neither blessed it nor had it blessed ; I 
should not have known how to set about it. I 
cared very much for this sword because it had 
come from the Church of Saint Catherine, 
whom I love so much." 

" Have you sometimes prayed that your 
sword might be fortunate?" 

" It is good to know that I wished my armor 
might have good fortune." 

" Had you your sword when you were taken 

" No ! I had one which had been taken from 
a Burgundian." 

"Where was the sword of Fierbois left?" 

" I offered at Saint Denis a sword and 
armor, but it was not this sword. I had that 
at Lagny ; from Lagny to Compiegne I bore the 
sword of the Burgundian ; it was a good sword 
for fighting — very good for giving stout buffets 
and hard clouts. To tell what became of the 
other sword does not concern this case, and 
I will not tell it now. My brothers have all 
my goods — ^my horses, my sword, so far as I 


know, and the rest, which are worth more 
than twelve thousand crowns." 

" Had you a standard at Orleans, and what 
color was it ? " 

" I had a banner, the field of which was 
sprinkled with lilies; the world was painted 
on it with an angel at each side. It was white, 
of the white cloth called ' bocasln ', and above 
were the words ' Jesus, Maria ' ; it was fringed 
with silk." 

" Which did you care most for, your banner 
or your sword ? " 

" Better, forty times better, my banner than 
my sword." 

" Who caused you to get this painting done 
upon your banner ? " 

"I have told you often enough I have had 
nothing done but by the command of God. 
It was I myself who carried this banner, when 
I attacked the enemy, so that I might kill no 
one. I never killed any one." 

" What force did your King give you when 
he set you to work ? " 

" He gave me ten or twelve thousand men. 
First, I went to Orleans, to the fortress of 
St. Loup, and afterwards to that of the bridge. 
I was quite certain of raising the siege of 
Orleans. I had revelation of it. I told it to 
the King before going there." 


" Did you tell your people before going to 
the assault, that only you would receive the 
arrows, stones and cross bolts thrown by the 
machines and cannons ? " 

" No ! A hundred and even more of my 
people were wounded. I had said to them: 
' Be fearless and you will raise the siege ! ' 
Then, in the attack on the bridge fortress I 
was wounded by a cross-bolt in the neck; but 
I had great comfort from Saint Catherine and 
was healed in less than a fortnight. I did 
not interrupt for this either my riding or my 
work. I knew I should be wounded. I had 
told the King so, but that, nothwithstanding, 
I should go on with my work. 

" This had been revealed to me by the 
Voices of my two Saints — the blessed Cather- 
ine and the blessed Margaret. It was I who 
first planted a ladder against the bridge for- 
tress, and it was in raising this ladder that I 
was wounded." 

"Why did you not accept the treaty with 
the Captain of Jargeau?" 

" It was the Lords of my party who 
answered the English that they should not 
have the fortnight's delay which they asked, 
telling them to retire at once, they and their 
horses. As for me, I told the English at Jar- 
geau to retire if they wished with their doub- 


lets and their lives, if not they would be taken 
by assault." 

"Had you revelation from your Voices 
whether it was right or not to give this fort- 
night's delay?" 

" I do not remember." 

" At this point," say the records, " the rest 
of the inquiry hath been postponed until 
Thursday at the same place." 

It had been a long and tiresome sitting, for 
between the questions often there were pauses 
for consultation (not by the accused with her 
counsel, for she had none visible) and there 
was much referring to the record of Joan's 
previous day's testimony to find something 
weak or contradictory in her statements. Sor- 
cery must be somehow fastened on her sword, 
witchcraft on her banner, and presumption 
and impiety on herself. 

Joan was fasting and tired and ought to be 
frightened by such overpowering and hostile 
surroundings. Fifty-two Canon Law profici- 
ents ought to be able to trap a country girl 
who " did not know A from B." 

Joan went back to her cell less anxious and 
tired than they were, however, for God and 
His Saints went with her. 


She tells her English Judges they will lose France forever* 

On Thursday, March 1, 1431, for the fifth 
time, Joan of Arc was brought out from her 
lonely prison to sit before Bishop Cauchon 
and fifty-eight assistant judges in a large hall 
in the Earl of Warwick's Castle of Rouen, 
and defend herself against charges of heresy 
and witchcraft. True, no special charge at 
all was so far formally made against her, but 
these public examinations were held so that 
out of them, out of her answers to questions 
of her judges, such evidence would be gleaned 
as could be put together for specific charges 
when the proper time and occasion required. 

As on the four previous examinations, this 
fifth one began with the same persistent effort 
to make Joan swear unconditionally to answer 
all questions put to her, which she, first and 
last, guided, as we see now, by the Spirit of 
Light and Truth, firmly refused to do. She 
always maintained that there were some 
things she would not tell because she had no 
leave from her Heavenly Voices to do so. 

In the exact words of the document still to 


be seen as it was recorded that day, nearly 
five hundred years ago: 

" Thursday, March 1st, in the same place, 
the Bishop and fifty-eight assessors present. 

" In their presence, we summoned and re- 
quired Jeanne simply and absolutely to take 
her oath to speak the truth on that which 
should be asked her. 

" ' I am ready,' she replied, ' as I have al- 
ready declared to you, to speak the truth on 
all that I know touching this Case; but I 
know many things which do not touch on 
this Case, and of which there is no need to 
speak to you. I will speak willingly and in all 
truth on all which touches this Case.' 

" We again summoned her and required her ; 
and she replied: 

" ' What I know in truth touching this Case, 
I will tell willingly.' 

"And in this wise did she swear, her hands 
on the Holy Gospels. Then she said: 

" ' On what I know touching the Case, I 
will speak the truth willingly ; I will tell you 
as much as I would to the Pope of Rome, if I 
were before him.' " 

Now in mentioning the Pope of Rome she 
unwittingly opened up a new vista for her tor- 


Early in her career, when the fame of her 
revelations had received the approval of the 
ecclesiastical Court at Poitiers, the Count de 
Armagnac had sent a messenger, with a letter, 
to Joan, asking her to beg the light of the 
Holy Ghost, and tell the people which of three 
men claiming to be Pope was really the suc- 
cessor of Saint Peter, and entitled to the 
allegiance of the people. For the Church was 
in a storm at the time, owing to the intrigues 
of politicians, taking advantage of a vacancy 
in the See of Saint Peter, and fear and favor 
were brought to bear on either hand to inter- 
fere with the College of Cardinals, so that 
actually three men were publicly announced 
as Pope; Martin V. in Rome, another in Val- 
ence, styled Clement VII., and a third calling 
himself Benedict XIV. 

Now, when the Count de Armagnac sent his 
letter to Joan, asking her help in deciding 
which was the true Pope, she was more inter- 
ested in driving the English out of France 
than in any other question. It was not her 
business to decide the Papal succession. Per- 
haps she should have said so. But she was 
not prepared for the question, and was getting 
ready for battle with the English. She was 
mounting her horse when the Count's letter 
was brought, and read to her, and she told her 


secretary to answer the Count and say that 
she could not tell anything about it now, but 
when she had leisure in Paris or elsewhere she 
would think about it and answer him with the 
help of God. 

Joan rode ofif to her battle and probably 
thought little of either her letter or the 
Count's, but they fell into the hands of her 
enemies and were witnesses against her — prov- 
ing her presumptuous for one thing, besides a 
few other equally sad and un-Catholic faults 
in her character. Joan's simple sincerity 
shone once more and put the quibblers at a 
disadvantage. The two letters were read to 
her and she was asked if they were correct. 
She readily acknowledged the letters and that 
in the main they were correct. She made some 
corrections in the phraseology of her own. 

"What do you say of Our Lord the Pope? 
And whom do you believe to be the true 

Fifty-eight theologians and lawyers stood 
for the question, to one, confessedly ignorant 
young girl. But her inspired answer, mag- 
nificent in its utter innocence and simplicity, 
turned the tables on them. 

" Whom do you believe to be the true 
Pope? " they asked again. 

"Are there two ? " 


That was all she said in reply, and she said 
it gravely and with a look of surprise. The 
wise men felt they were answered. " Out of 
the mouth of babes comes forth wisdom " 
they remembered, and held their peace for a 

But they recovered their wits. They must 
not let it go with her. Joan represented 
France. How bitterly to them she had stood 
for France during the past two years! They 
must let nothing go with her! They tried the 
question in another form : 

" Had you any doubt about whom the Count 
should obey?" 

" I did not know how to inform the Count. 
* * * But as for myself, I hold and believe 
that we should obey Our Lord, the Pope, who 
is in Rome." 

That was not satisfactory, so they put it 
in another shape: 

" Did you say that on the matter of the three 
Sovereign Pontiffs, you would have counsel ? " 

" I never wrote or gave command to write in 
the matter of the three Sovereign Pontiffs." 

They gave it up and probed her presumption 
in other matters. They read aloud the letter 
that Joan first sent to the English before 
Orleans in which she told them she was sent 
by God to drive them from France, and restore 


to his crown and throne the true King of 
France, Charles VII; and threatened them if 
they did not take themselves off at once they 
would be hurt, and that she would raise 
around them so great a disturbance that for a 
thousand years there should be none so great. 

She was asked if she recognized the letter 
and accepted responsibility for it. She said 
yes, and with some unimportant alterations it 
was correct. That nobody dictated it to her, 
but she showed it to some of her party before 
sending it. Then as if the memory of it and 
the splendid work that followed it were like 
a draught of strong fresh air, she stood up 
very straight and fine, while her glance swept 
the whole assemblage: 

" Before seven years are passed the English 
will lose a greater wager than they have al- 
ready done at Orleans; they will lose every- 
thing in France. The English will have in 
France a greater loss than they have ever had, 
and that by a great victory which God will 
send to the French." 

Frenchmen most of them were, that were 
in front of her as judges, albeit Frenchmen 
bought by the English. But the room was full 
of Englishmen too, and there was great com- 
motion among them to hear such bold 


" How do you know this ? " 

" I should know it well by revelation, which 
has been made to me, and that this will hap- 
pen within seven years; and I am sore vexed 
that it is deferred so long. I know it by reve- 
lation, as clearly as I know that you are before 
me at this moment." 

" When will this happen ? " 

" I know not the day nor the hour." 

" In what year will it happen ? " 

" You will have no more from me about it. 
Nevertheles, I heartily wish it might be before 
St. John's Day." 

" Did you not say that this would happen 
before Martinmas, in winter?" 

" I said that before Martinmas many things 
would be seen, and that the English might 
perhaps be overthrown." (The English did 
retire from Compiegne before St. Martin's 
Day, November 11.) 

" Through whom did you know that this 
would happen ? " 

" Through Saint Catherine and Saint Mar- 

There was something to think about. They 
had their own eye witness of the truth of so 
many of her prophecies that this promise of 
their complete downfall, made so calmly and 
earnestly right in their faces, was very dis- 


turbing. They must know accurately more 
about the Voices that told her such things. 
They pressed her closely for exact information 
about how they, Saint Catherine and Saint 
Margaret, looked, and what they wore, and 
how they were adorned. To all of which Joan 
gave ready answer: that she spoke with them 
every day; that she knew them to be Saint 
Catherine and Saint Margaret, because they 
told her they were; that she saw their faces 
and glorious crowns on their heads; she was 
not curious about the rest of their dress or 
their limbs or other members; they spoke well 
and in good language, and she heard them 

" How do they speak if they have no mem- 

" I refer me to God. That is God's affair, 
not mine. The voice is beautiful, sweet and 
low; it speaks in the French tongue." 

"Does not Saint Margaret speak English?" 

" Why should she speak English, when she 
is not on the English side? " 

" On these crowned heads were there rings? 
— in the ears or elsewhere?" 

Maybe her rings were the instruments of her 
sorcery, so they came to them in this round- 
about way — "Did the Saints wear rings?" 

" I know nothing about it." 


" Have you any rings yourself?" 

This question reminded her, and turning to 
Bishop Cauchon she said : 

" You hare one of mine ; give it back to me. 
The Burgundians have another of them. I 
pray you if you have my ring, show it to me." 

" Who gave you the ring which the Bur- 
gundians have?" 

" My father or my mother. I think the 
names ' Jesus, Maria' are engraved on it. I 
do not know who had them written there; there 
is not, I should say, any stone in the ring; it 
was given to me at Domremy. It was my 
brother gave me the one you have. I charge 
you give it to me; if not to me, then to the 
Church. I never cured anyone with any of my 

She was pressed to say what promises her 
Voices made to her, for herself. 

" They told me that my King would be re- 
established in his Kingdom, whether his en- 
emies willed it or no; they told me they 
would lead me to Paradise; I begged it of 
them indeed." 

" Did they make you any other promise? " 

" Yes, but that is not in the Case. In three 
months I will tell you the other promise." 

" Did your Voices tell you that before three 
months you will be liberated from prison ? " 


" That is not in your Case. Nevertheless, I 
will answer. I do not know when I shall be 
delivered. But those who wish to send me out 
of the world may well go before me." 

They pressed the question. Joan insisted it 
was not in the Case. They held a counsel, and 
the opinion of the judges there and then was 
that it did touch on the Case. She was urged 
to name the time of her deliverance. But she 
persisted she had no leave to do so. Besides 
the day was not named to her. She wished for 
delay that she might get leave to tell them. 

" Did your Voices forbid you to tell the 

" There are a number of things that do not 
touch on the Case. I know well that my King 
will regain the Kingdom of France. I know it 
as well as I know that you are before me, 
seated in judgment. I should die if this revela- 
tion did not comfort me every day." 

They thought for a while and put heads to- 
gether and took another tack: 

" What have you done with your man- 

" I never have had one. I have heard there 
is one near our home but I have never seen it. 
I have heard it is a dangerous thing to keep. 
I do not know for what it is used." 

[The mandrake was considered part of a 
sorcerer's outfit.] 


" Where is the mandrake of which you have 

" I have heard that it is in the earth, near 
the tree of which I spoke before; but I do not 
know the place. Above this mandrake, there 
was, it is said, a large tree." 

Then she was asked some trivial questions 
about St. Michael's appearance, and what he 
wore and had he a balance. She was grieved 
at the irreverence but answered the many fool- 
ish questions about St. Michael with dignity 
and calmness. 

" I have great joy in seeing him for then it 
seems to me I cannot be in mortal sin. Saint 
Catherine and Saint Margaret were pleased, 
in turn, from time to time, to receive my con- 
fession. If I am in mortal sin, it is without 
my knowing it." 

" When you confessed did you think you 
were in mortal sin ? " 

" I do not know that I am in mortal sin, 
and, if it please God, I will never so be, nor 
please God, have I ever done or ever will do 
deeds which charge my soul." 

Their probing of her secret soul gave little 
ammunition for their batteries, and now they 
shift to get her King's secrets from her : 

" What sign did you give your King that you 
came from God ? " 


" Go and ask it of him. I will tell you noth- 
ing of what concerns my King. Thereon I 
will not speak." 

They continued to press her with many 
questions concerning the King, to none of 
which she vouchsafed answer until they came 

" Has your King a real crown at Rheims ? " 

" I think my King took with joy the Crown 
he had at Rheims; but another, much richer, 
would have been given him later. He took the 
first to hurry on his work, at the request of 
the people at Rheims, to avoid too long a 
charge upon them of the King's soldiers. If 
he had waited he would have had a crown a 
thousand times more rich. I have not seen it 
but I have heard that it is rich and valuable 
to a degree." 

Many more questions about this mysterious 
crown was she pestered with until at last they 
were worn out even more than she was, though 
she was fasting and heavily chained, with 
the long hard day's work. The record for the 
day ends: 

" We put an end to the interrogation and 
postponed the remainder to Saturday next, 
8 o'clock in the morning, in the same place, 
summoning all the Assessors to be present." 


" Let me be taken before the Pope and I will answer all I 
ought to answer." 

Joan had a week's rest from persecution of 
her questioners while Cauchon and his secret 
Council of three or four picked men, assembled 
in his house morning and afternoon, to go 
over the records of the six days' public exami- 

Cauchon was angry and dissatisfied. On 
not one point had they got satisfactory infor- 
mation from her. Though they had asked her 
repeatedly and directly, they did not yet know 
what sign she brought to Charles VII, by which 
he accepted her as a messenger from God. 
That was something they wanted to know 

Then they wanted to know by whose advice 
or orders she wore the male attire, which she 
so decidedly refused to change while in prison. 

They wanted to know if she knew she was to 
be captured, and, if that was revealed to her, 
maybe it was revealed also when and how she 
would end. 



They knew how they wanted to end her. 
They could give her to the flames in twenty- 
four hours — or less — and they intended her 
for the flames from the first. 

But there were many things they wanted to 
know from her. The crowning of the King of 
France at Rheims was a great blow to them — 
greater even than the loss of Orleans ; because, 
though the English held his capital, Paris, yet 
the fact that he was regularly crowned at 
Rheims, as all the Kings of France had been, 
gave him a standing all over Europe, and even 
with the Burgundians. The crowning of the 
young English king, Henry VI, at Paris as 
King of France, was a flank movement, a po- 
litical strategy. 

The crowning of Charles VII had a majestic 
regularity about it that the whole world must 

If they could only vitiate it in some way! 
If they could show France and England and 
Rome that Beelzebub, not St. Michael, was the 
leading spirit of the anti-English reaction in 
France, and that Joan's mission was not from 
God but God's enemy — the English interests 
might be saved even yet. 

Warwick's revengeful impatience for Joan's 
death was kept in check by his desire to get 
from her what he felt she must know (whether 


from God or the Devil), how it all would end. 

She had told them that it was revealed to 
her that before seven years the English would 
lose every hold they had on France. She had 
predicted this at the same time that she told 
them she was going to deliver Orleans and 
crown her king. 

She did both, and that made the prophecy 
about England's final defeat more interesting. 
With a brave countenance she faced the Eng- 
lish still, and told them they had to go. 

They were greatly in doubt that all this was 
God's work. Warwick nagged at Cauchon 
about it, and Cauchon, in desperation, deter- 
mined, before they burnt her, to make her tell 
all she knew. 

So they picked out points in her testimony, 
on which they would drive her to tell every- 

Then for nine days, morning and afternoon, 
Cauchon, two other reverend doctors from the 
Anglicized University of Paris, two witnesses, 
to make show of legality, and a recorder to 
take everything down in proper form and 
order, went to Joan's prison, and closing in on 
their prey — tired and lonely and abandoned — 
they coaxed, they threatened, they questioned 
and cross-questioned her; there was not a secret 
of the girl's life they did not wrench from her. 


But their first and last question every day, 
asked in a variety of ways, so as to throw her 
off her guard, was : 

" What was the sign that you brought your 

But they never got it from Joan. All the 
world knew twenty years later that it was the 
assurance that he was the legitimate son of 
Charles VI, and the rightful heir to the French 
throne. He had his doubts, known only to God 
and himself, and when this child came from 
far-off Domremy and told him of his doubts, and 
that he must put them away, for he was the 
rightful heir and would soon be the crowned 
king, he knew she was sent from God. 

Then he had the Archbishop and a clerical 
council at Poitier's, examine Joan as to her 
piety and probity and her right to wear a 
man's dress and lead the army. And the coun- 
cil at Poitier's pronounced her a messenger 
from God. 

Now, the English, nor their allies, knew none 
of this except by hearsay. They had no wit- 
nesses but Joan herself. She spoke freely of 
everything " concerning the trial " ; but the 
sign she brought the king was his secret, and 
she would not reveal it though they " cut her 
head off." 

Indeed, if they had even guessed at it, what 


a mountain they would have made of it! If 
they knew that the French king had doubted 
his own legitimacy, they would have poisoned 
all Europe, and his subjects especially, against 
him. They would have rung all the changes 
on the horror of it, until Charles would be 
glad to hide his head in shame anywhere out 
of France. But they did not suspect it, and 
Joan kept the secret well, in spite of the great 
stress brought to bear upon her to tell it. 

They spent the best part of two days ques- 
tioning her about this sign, of which she, in 
her wearied, weakened state of body and mind, 
was beguiled into saying many things, which 
did not satisfy them or their curiosity, yet 
gave them pegs on which to hang new accu- 

" What was the sign you brought your 
king?" Every examination began thus. 

" It was something beautiful, honorable and 
most credible; the best and richest in the 

"Does this sign still last?" 

" It is well to know it ; it will last a thou- 
sand years and more. My sign is with the 
king's treasures." 

" Is it gold, silver, precious stones, or a 
crown ? " 


And they crowded close to her, with eager 
faces, in her narrow, ugly prison. 

" I will tell you nothing more about it." 

And then, as if she could not contain herself 
with thinking about it, she broke out : 

" No man in the world can devise so rich 
a thing as this sign ; but the sign that you need 
is that God may deliver me from your hands; 
that is the most sure sign He could send you. 
When I was in the trenches of Melun, it was 
told me by my Voices — that is to say by St. 
Catherine and St. Margaret- -' Thou wilt be 
taken before St. John's Day; and so it must 
be; do not trouble thyself about it; be re- 
signed. God will help thee.' " 

" Before this had not your Voices told you 
that you would be taken prisoner?" 

" Yes, many times and nearly every day. 
And I asked of my Voices, that, when I should 
be taken I might die soon, without long suffer- 
ing in prison ; and they said to me : ' Be re- 
signed to all — thus it must be.' Often I asked 
to know the hour but they never told me." 

They wondered if she had any warning be- 
fore being taken at Compiegne. She told them 
without any reserve: 

" That day I did not know at all that I should 
be taken, and I had no command to go forth; 
but they always told me it was necessary for 


me to be taken prisoner. If I had known the 
hour when I should be taken, I would not have 
gone forth of my own free will; I should al- 
ways have obeyed their commands in the end, 
whatever might happen to me." 

They asked her did she not think her Saints 
deceived her, seeing she was now in prison and 
in danger of death. She answered like a theo- 
logian : 

" I think, as it has pleased our Lord, that it 
is for my well-being that I was taken pris- 

And again at another time in answer to a 
similar question: 

" St. Catherine has told me that I shall have 
help. I do not know if this will be to be de- 
livered from prison, or if, whilst I am being 
tried, some disturbance may happen by which 
I shall be delivered. The help will come to 
me, one way or another. My Voices have told 
me I shall be delivered, by a great victory; 
and they add : ' Be resigned ; have no care for 
thy martyrdom ; thou shalt come in the end to 
the Kingdom of Paradise.' They have told me 
this simply, absolutely and without fail. What 
is meant by my martrydom is the pain and 
adversity that I suffer in prison ; I do not know 
if I shall have still greater sufferings to bear; 
for that I refer me to God." 


" Since your Voices told you that you would 
come in the end to Paradise, have you felt 
assured of being saved, and of not being 
damned in Hell?" 

" I believe firmly what my Voices told me, 
that I shall be saved; I believe it as firmly as 
if I were already there." 

" Do you believe that you cannot yet com- 
mit mortal sin ? " 

"I do not know; and in all things I wait 
on Our Lord." 

" That is an answer of great weight." 

" Yes, and one which I hold for a great 

Then other things bothered them to know. 
In what lay the secret of her amazing success 
with that small, half -demoralized and hitherto 
cowed band of men called the French army? 
Was her sword specially blessed to be invinci- 
ble? Did her banner bear magic spells from 
demon or angel? Was the charm in her armor, 
or her soldier's dress, or in the two rude rings 
she wore when they captured her, and which 
they promptly took from her. Unlike Samp- 
son, there was no Delilah to worm the secrets 
for them. They must get them from herself 
and they started in once more to do so. 

" Why did you throw yourself from the top 
of the tower at Beaurevoir ? " 


" I had heard that the people of Compiegne, 
all, to the age of seven years, were to be put 
to the sword; and I would rather have died 
than live after such a destruction of good peo- 
ple. That was one of the reasons. The other 
was, that I knew I was sold to the English; 
and I had rather die than be in the hands of 
the English. * » * By the fall I was so in- 
jured I could not eat nor drink. But I was 
consoled by St. Catherine, who told me to 
confess and beg pardon of God; and without 
fail those at Compiegne would have relief 
before St. Martin's Day in the winter. Then I 
began to recover and to eat and was cured." 

But surely she was a public sinner. They 
summed up for her several things she did. 
Her leap from Beaurevoir, her taking the 
Bishop's horse at Senlis, her attack on Paris 
on the Blessed Virgin's feast day, her allowing 
a prisoner of war to be put to death at one 
time and then asked, was she not in mortal 

She explained seriatim her justification in 
each case of those they named and then said: 

"I do not believe that I am in mortal sin; 
and if I have been it is for God to know it 
and for the priest in confession." 

They asked her if she would submit to the 
judgment of the Church, her alleged sins 


against the faith, and the nature of her Voices. 

By " the Church " they meant themselves — 
the little clique of Anglo-Burgundian clerics 
in Paris and Eouen, headed by Cauchon, who 
was a bishop driven from his own see of Beau- 
vais by his own people because of his English 
politics; and who hoped to be made by English 
influence, Archbishop of Rouen. Joan, coun- 
seled as she was by the spirit of Truth, knew 
well enough how to distinguish between this 
body and the Church. They had refused to 
refer her case to Rome. 

" Will you refer yourself to the decision of 
the Church?" 

" I refer myself to God Who sent me, to 
Our Lady, and to all the saints in Paradise. 
And in my opinion it is all one, God and the 
Church; and one should make no difiBculty 
about it. Why do you make a diflSculty?" 

" Will you submit your words and actions 
to the decision of the Church ? " 

" My words and deeds are all in God's hands ; 
in all, I wait upon Him. I assure you I would 
say or do nothing against the Christian Faith ; 
in case I have done or said anything which 
might be on my soul, and which the clergy 
could say was contrary to the Christian Faith, 
established by Our Lord, I would not maintain 
it, and would put it away." 


That was sensible and humble and any- 
thing but a bold contumacious answer, but they 
made contumacy out of it, in the summing up. 

" There is a Church Triumphant in which are 
God and the Saints, the Angels and the souls 
of the saved. There is another Church, the 
Church Militant, in which are the Pope, the 
Vicar of God on earth, the Cardinals, Prelates 
of the Church, the clergy and all good Chris- 
tians and Catholics ; this Church, regularly as- 
sembled, cannot err, being ruled by the Holy 
Spirit. Will you refer yourself to this Church 
which we have thus just defined to you?" 

" I came to the King of France from God, 
from the Blessed Virgin Mary, from all the 
Saints of Paradise, and the Church Victorious, 
and by their command. To this Church I sub- 
mit all my good deeds, all I have done or will 
do. As to saying whether I will submit my- 
self to the Church Militant, I will now answer 
no more." 

" Does it not seem to you that you are 
bound to reply more fully to our Lord the 
Pope, the Vicar of God?" 

" Let me be taken before the Pope and I will 
answer before him all I ought to answer." 

They did not like that and immediately 
switched off to her banner, trying to draw 
from her when or how the charms were put 


upon it that made it victorious. But its whole 
history did not include any blessings or incan- 
tations more than any banner ever bore in 

" Why, then, was it placed alone of all the 
banners near the altar, in prominence and 
honor, at the crowning of the King? " 

And her answer is revered to this day as a 
classic : 

" It had shared the pain, it was only right 
that it should share the honor." 

The appearances of the saints, their size and 
clothing and speech, and familiarity with her, 
were gone over at great length, Joan always 
reserving such items of information as she 
deemed unnecessary to tell. 

" Do St. Catherine and St. Margaret hate the 

" They love what God loves ; they hate what 
God hates." 

"Does God hate the English?" 

" Of the love or hate God may have for the 
English, or of what he will do for their souls, 
I know nothing; but I know quite well that 
they will be put out of France, except those 
who shall die here, and that God will send 
victory to the French against the English." 

" Was God for the English when they were 
prospering in France?" 


" I do not know if God hated the French ; but 
I believe that He wished them to be defeated 
for their sins, if they were in sin." 

" You have no need to confess, as you believe 
by the revelation of your Voices that you will 
be saved?" 

" If I were in mortal sin I think St. Cather- 
ine and St. Margaret would abandon me at 
once; but one cannot cleanse one's conscience 
too much." 

She was asked how she knew the saints and 
angels she saw and spoke to, were angels and 
not demons. 

She told them very simply that she knew and 
believed them to be what they said they were, 
and the good results of their counsels con- 
firmed her. The Voices came to her every day, 
even now, in her prison and the results of their 
visits are courage and peace and devotion to 
the will of God. 

Her male attire was a sore point. They gave 
whole days to pumping her as to just why 
she put it on and just why she would not put 
it off. To both of which she gave them answer 
that by God's command she put it on, and only 
by His command would she put it off. It was 
in a way the insignia of her mission against 
the English. Besides while she was in prison 
she needed it for modesty and safety. She had 


begged to be allowed to hear Mass, but her 
jailers protested that it would never do to 
insult God by hearing Mass in so unbecoming 
a dress. She begged a woman's dress then to 
hear Mass in, though she protested " this dress 
does not weigh upon my soul, and is not con- 
trary to the laws of the Church." 

Indeed the council of bishops at Poitiers 
had decided at the very begitining, that as Joan 
had a man's work to do it was proper she 
should wear man's dress for greater conveni- 

Still harassed about it, she said finally: 

" Give me a woman's dress to go and rejoin 
my mother; I will take it that I may get out 
of prison, because when I am outside I will 
consider as to what I should do. I desire 
ardently to hear Mass, and in the dress in 
which I am. It is not in my power to change 

All this is but a small part of the questions 
and answers that filled nine days' close work 
between Joan and her judges; but it covers 
the main points, for much of it was repetition 
of former questions, and the same questions 
asked over again in different ways, trying to 
trip and bewilder Joan and make her contra- 
dict herself. As it was, they made contradic- 
tion out of the many things she said about the 


" sign " to her king, though, knowing the truth 
now, the reader will discover that all the dif- 
ferent allegories employed by her fit it equally 
and truly. 

Joan always distinguished between the Bur- 
gundians and the English. The former were 
Frenchmen and must be brought back to their 
true allegiance. The English, however, must 
leave France. 

" Do you mean to say that God and the 
Saints are for war and bloodshed ? " 

" God and the Saints are for peace among 
men. The Burgundians must make peace with 
their lawful sovereign. For the English there 
is no peace but to go home." 

And none of the answers offended against 
Catholic theology though it was the hope of the 
questioners that she would sin against Faith, 
none of them proved or even quibbled about 
the fairies, or sorcery in any shape. Joan first 
and last, in plain language, disclaimed any 
connection between her Voices and the fairy 
tree of Domremy, and her discernment against 
superstition and witchery was decided and 
outspoken. Yet they saddled her with ac- 
knowledgments of witchcraft. 

After the nine days' harrowing of the girl 
the records read : 

On the following Saturday, March 24, in the 


prison of Jeanne, Maitre Jean Delafontaine, 
Commissioner for Us, the Bishop, and Brother 
Jean Lemaitre; assisted by J. Beaupere, N. 
Midi, P. Maurice, G. Feuillet, Thomas de Cour- 
celles, Anguerrand de Champrond. 

In presence of the above-mentioned, We 
caused to be read to Jeanne the Eegister, 
which contained the questions made to her and 
her answers. This reading was made in the 
presence of the said Jeanne, and in the French 
language, by G. Manchon, Eegister. 

The reading of the Eegister being finished, she 

" I believe certainly to have so spoken as it 
is written in the Eegister, and as has been 
read ; I do not contradict on any point." 

And now they were ready for the real trial. 
Hitherto they were just gathering, from the 
captive, the material for a formal charge. 

Next day was Palm Sunday, and early in the 
morning Bishop Cauchon and his aids of the 
day before, presented themselves to Joan in 
her prison, telling her they were so moved by 
her great desire, often expressed, to hear Mass 
as to oflfer her that privilege if she would con- 
sent to put off her male attire and dress as 
became a woman of her birthplace. 

They spent some time arguing with her 


about it, to all their urging she sadly but 
firmly asserted it was not in her power to 
change her dress yet, much as she wanted to 
hear Mass and especially on the next Sunday 
— Easter. 

" I cannot change my dress," she said, 
" though indeed this dress or any dress is of 
little matter." 

Again the Records read : 

Of all the preceding. Master Jean d'Estivet, 
Promoter, hath asked that there be delivered 
to him a Public Instrument, in the presence 
of the Lords and Masters, Adam Hillet, Wil- 
liam Brolbster, and Pierre Orient of the clergy 
of Rouen, London and Chalons respectively. 

This was done on this Palm Sunday. The 
next morning, in Cauchon's house, the Pro- 
moter presented to the Bishop and his council 
the petition for the trial, and on Tuesday 
presented the text of the accusation against 
Joan. This accusation consisted of seventy 
articles made up mostly from the preconceived 
notions of Cauchon, but ostensibly from the 
testimony of Joan herself. With great for- 
mality, and in the presence of thirty-eight 
judges assembled in the great hall of War- 
wick's Castle, Thomas de Courcelles read the 
act of accusation to Joan, the seventy articles, 
one by one, pausing at the end of each for her 


answer or protest or agreement as the case 
might be. 

The burden of these seventy articles of ac- 
cusation against Joan and her replies, will be 
the subject of our next chapter. 


"I would rather die than be In the hands of the English." 

Foe the sixth time, on March 3d, in the 
great hall of the Earl of Warwick's Castle of 
Rouen, Joan of Arc was brought early in the 
morning to find Bishop Cauchon and forty- 
one, of the previous fifty-eight Assessors wait- 
ing for her. A half hour was as usual spent 
trying to surprise her, and, failing that, to 
force her into taking an unconditional oath 
to answer everything. Joan held out and at 
last was allowed to take oath " with her hands 
on the Holy Gospels " to answer all questions 
" touching the trial." 

She had in one examination mentioned St, 
Michael's wings, but in another she said she 
did not know if St. Catherine and St. Mar- 
garet had limbs — she only looked at their 
beautiful faces and heads. The judges began 
by cross-questioning her about the physical 
appearances of the Saints. 

" I have told you what I know. I saw St. 
Michael and those two Saints so well that I 
know they are Saints of Paradise." 


" Did you see anything else of them but the 
face? " 

" To tell you all I know I would rather that 
you made me cut my throat. All that I know 
touching the trial I will tell you willingly." 

How often and often she had to use that 
same phrase " on everything touching the 
trial " during the few months before her death ! 
The ignorant young girl having to keep a great 
bench full of Canon law doctors to the letter of 
the law ! But she could not. They probed her 
secrets and made her lay bare her great, brave 
heart for their cruel curiosity — not their pity 
nor admiration. 

Again they return to catch her contradicting 
herself about the Saints. " Do you think that 
St. Gabriel and St. Michael have human 

" Yes, I saw them with my eyes." 

" Did God create them from the first in this 
form and fashion?" 

What a question to a child from theologians ! 
But Joan was able for them : 

" You will have no more on that at present 
than what I have answered." They gave it up 
and changed the subject 

" Do you know by revelation if you will 

" That does not touch on your Case. Do 


you wish me to speak against myself? If all 
concerned you I would tell you all. By my 
faith, I know neither the day nor the hour 
that I shall escape." 

" Have your Voices told you anything in a 
general way?" 

" Yes, truly, they have told me that I shall 
be delivered, but I know neither the day nor 
the hour. They said to me : ' Be of good cour- 
age and keep a cheerful countenance ! ' " 

Then a dozen questions followed about her 
military dress — when she adopted it and by 
whose advice. Questions she had answered 
a dozen times and would be asked again an- 
other dozen times and more. She told them 
all they needed to know without satisfying 
their curiosity as to just how, and when, and 
by whom, was she told to adopt it. About 
being asked to take it off she admitted : 

" Yes, truly, I was asked to take it off ; and 
I answered that I would not take it ofiE with- 
out leave from God. The Demoiselle de Lux- 
embourg and the Lady de Beaurevoir offered 
to me a woman's dress, or cloth to make one, 
telling me to wear it. I answered that I had 
not leave from Our Lord and that it was not 
time. Messire Jeane de Pressy and others at 
Arras, offered to get me woman's dress." 

" Do you think you would have done wrong 


or committed mortal sin by taking a woman's 

" I did better to obey and serve my Sovereign 
Lord, who is God. Had I dared to do it, I 
would sooner have done it at the request of 
these ladies than of any other in France, ex- 
cepting my Queen." 

" When God revealed to you that you should 
change your dress, was it by the voice of St. 
Michael, St. Catherine or St. Margaret?" 

" You shall have nothing more from me 
about it at present." 

And they never got from her any more par- 
ticulars of how she was told to change her 
dress than that it was by God's command. 
They turned now to her banner, hoping to 
prove the spells and enchantment woven round 
it. They tried to get it out of her that others 
had banners just like hers because she told 
them to copy hers for good luck. 

" What I told my followers was ' go in boldly 
against the English ' and I did it myself." 

" Did you or they put Holy Water on the 
pennons? " 

" I know nothing of it." 

" Have you not carried cloth around the 
Church, in procession, and then had it made 
into pennons? " 

"No! and I have never seen it done." 


There was no grist to their mill in that kind 
of testimony so they turned from her dress 
and her banners to herself personally. If she 
claimed honors and homage for herself she was 
a sinner. 

" Did you not cause paintings of yourself 
to be made? " 

" I saw at Arras a painting in the hands of 
a Scot; it was like me. I was represented 
fully armed, presenting a letter to my King, 
one knee on the ground. I have never seen 
any other image or painting in my likeness 
nor had one made." 

" Do you know that the people of your party 
had Mass, services, and prayers offered for 

" I know nothing of it ; if they had it was 
not by my order; but if they prayed for me, 
my opinion is they did not do ill." 

" Did those of your party firmly believe that 
you were sent from God ? " 

" I do not know if they believed it, and in 
this I refer to their own feeling in the matter. 
But even though they do not believe, yet am I 
sent from God." 

" Do you not think they have a good belief, 
if they believe this?" 

" If they think that I am sent from God, 
they will not be deceived." 


" In what spirit did the people of your party 
kiss your hands and feet?" 

" Many came to see me but they kissed my 
hands as little as I could help. The poor came 
to me readily, because I never did them an 
unkindness, on the contrary I loved to help 

" What honor did the people of Troyes do 
you on your entry ? " 

" None at all." 

" Were you many days at Rheims? " 

" Five or six, I believe." 

"Did you not act there as God-mother?" 

" At Troyes, I did. At Rheims I do not re- 
member, nor at Chateau-Thierry. I was God- 
mother twice at St. Denis. Usually I give to 
the boys the name Charles in honor of my 
King; and to the girls, Jeanne. At other times 
such names as pleased the mothers." 

" Did not the good women of the town touch 
with their rings one that you wore?" 

" Many women touched my hands and my 
rings ; but I know nothing of their feelings nor 

" Who of your people caught butterflies in 
your s tandard ? " 

"My people never did such a thing; it is 
your side who have invented it." 

" When you were going through the country 


did you often receive the sacrament of Pen- 
ance and the Eucharist in the good towns?" 

" Yes." 

" And in man's dress? " 

" Yes." 

" Why did you take the horse of the Bishop 
of Senlis?" 

" It was bought for 200 saluts (about 
|1,000). I do not know if he received the 
money. There was a place fixed at which it 
was to be paid. I wrote to him he might 
have his horse back if he wished. As for me, 
I did not wish it; it was worth nothing for 

Notwithstanding this straightforward and 
evidently fair statement, the horse of the 
Bishop of Senlis was a large item in the 
charges against her -as summed up later. Sud- 
denly the scene was shifted : 

" It is reported you brought a dead child to 
life at Lagny. How old was the child you 
visited at Lagny?" 

" Three days old. It was brought before an 
image of Our Lady. The young girls of the 
village were praying before this image, that 
God might restore the infant. She had not 
been baptized. I prayed with them. At last 
life returned to the child, it yawned three 
times and was baptized ; soon after it died and 


was buried in consecrated ground. It had 
been three days dead and was black as my 

" Did they not say in the village that it was 
through your prayers it was restored ? " 

" I did not enquire about it." 

Well, there was no self-gloriflcation nor pre- 
sumption proven there. But did she not try 
to commit suicide and failing in her effort, did 
she not get angry, curse and blaspheme? 

" Were you not a long time in the Tower of 
Beaurevoir ? " 

" About four months. When I knew the 
English were coming to take me, I was angry, 
nevertheless my Voices forbade me to leap. 
But in the end full of the fear of the English, 
I did leap after commending myself to God and 
Our Lady. I was wounded. After I had 
leaped the Voice of St. Catherine bade me be 
of good cheer, for Compiegne would have suc- 
cor. I had prayers for the relief of Compiegne, 
with my Counsel." 

" Did you not say that you would rather die 
than be in the hands of the English?" 

" I said I would rather give up my soul to 
God than be in the hands of the English." 

" Were you not very angry to the extent of 
blaspheming the name of God ? " 

" I have never blasphemed. It is not my 


habit to swear. Those who say so have mis- 

There was no arrangement for another day 
recorded at the end of that day's examination. 
Cauchon was angry. The trial thus far gave 
him no satisfaction. Among the Assessors, 
new friends of Joan appeared each day. As 
they listened to the " grueling," or took pari: 
in it, they were edified with the brave, honest 
front she presented to them. They found her 
womanly and soldierly in the glimpses of her 
public and private life wrung from her by her 
enemies. By look and word and gesture they 
let their sympathy with Joan be known, to 
the great chagrin of Cauchon and his English 
backers. Clearly this could not go on. The 
object of the trial was to prove that all her 
acts of valor, her prophecies, her victories, 
were inspired and aided by Beelzebub: Her 
Saints were merely hallucinations of a dis- 
eased mind or inventions of a depraved one. 
Her courage was brazen audacity. Her piety 
was blasphemous hypocrisy. Her power to 
sway men to her way of thinking was sorcery. 
Her victories on a score of great occasions 
were due to the aid of the powers of darkness. 
He who thought otherwise was of no use in 
this Trial. 

So Cauchon who had been noting his col- 


leagues, chose a few of his own color from 
among the great array of legal talent he had 
gathered around him; out of the seventy not 
more than seven, and dismissed the rest with 
great show of thanks for their pains, etc. He 
decreed that " if any further inquiries are 
thought necessary they shall be made hence- 
forth in private." 

The official document reads: 

" Sunday, March 4th, and the Monday, 
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 
5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th, of the same month, 
We, the Bishop, assembled in Our dwelling, 
many grave doctors and masters in law, sacred 
and civil, who were charged by us to collect 
all that has been confessed or answered by 
Jeanne in these Enquiries, and to extract there- 
from the points on which she answered in an 
incomplete manner, and which seem to these 
doctors susceptible of further examination." 

During the five days these chosen few French 
accomplices of English animosity to the Maid 
of Orleans, the great stumbling block to Eng- 
lish aggression in Europe, met and went over 
the evidence drawn from Joan so far. They 
sifted it over and over. They picked out of it 
and twisted to their own design what suited 
them, rejecting everything that could not 
be made to tell against Joan from their point 


of view. Wherever a damaging meaning could 
be construed into a word or phrase or sen- 
tence they so construed it. 

Coolly throwing over the work of the past 
month, and of the sixty or more learned judges 
he had gathered to aid him in it, but whose 
sympathy for Joan angered him, Cauchon 
planned a new trial. It was to be strictly pri- 
vate and only a chosen few were to aid him in 
worrying their prey, and framing some plausi- 
ble excuse for a public and ignominious death, 
that would please his English masters, strike 
terror into the French party, and avenge the 
insult put upon himself when he was driven 
from his See of Beauvais. 

On the tenth of March the secret trial was 
begun. The Bishop and his accomplices went 
to Joan's prison. Bishop Cauchon, Master 
Jean Delafontaine, and two Doctors in The- 
ology, Nicholas Midi and Gerard Feuillet. As 
witnesses they brought a lawyer, Jean Fecard, 
and a priest, Jean Massieu. 

They had Joan now at close quarters, with 
no likely obstruction to their own peculiar 
method of harrowing the poor soul; and for 
nine more days, with no intermission, morning 
and afternoon, they closed around her, hungry, 
weary, and lonely, as she was, and put her 
through a series of questions and cross-quee- 


tions about things she had a hundred times 
said she would not tell. They would double 
back one day on what she said the day before, 
trying to prove to her that she admitted cer- 
tain damaging things, and then simulate great 
horror at her duplicity in denying them. 

It was a most cruel proceeding all through, 
but it is interesting to us now because in it the 
heart and soul of this wonderful woman were 
wrenched open, as it were, and laid bare to the 
world and God's providence singularly proved. 
Some of it shall be the burden of the succeeding 


Joan keeps the King's secret — defends her male attire— 
and refuses to aclinowledge the authority of her judges. 

Article I of the seventy that formed the Act 
of Accusation against Joan, was really a sort 
of preamble setting forth that according to 
Divine and Canon and Civil Law, the Bishop 
and the Inquisitor of the Faith were in duty 
bound to drive out of the Kingdom of France 
all heresies and witchcraft and crimes against 
the Faith; and to punish all offenders against 
the Faith, lay or cleric, " whatever be their 
estate, sex, quality, and pre-eminence," and 
whether they committed the crimes in Bishop 
Canchon's diocese or any part of France, he 
was competent to judge them. 

It was long and wordy and in the stilted, 
legal phraseology of those times; but above is 
the substance of it as it comes down to us and 
after it came the question, which was repeated 
ceremoniously after every one of the seventy 
articles as they were read to Joan, one by one, 
in a loud voice and in the French tongue, by 
Thomas de Courcelles : 


" What have jou to say to this article?" 

" I believe surely that our Lord, the Pope 
of Rome, the Bishops, and the other clergy, are 
established to guard the Christian Faith and 
punish those who are found wanting therein, 
but as for me, for my doings, I submit myself 
to the Heavenly Church — that is to say to God, 
to the Virgin Mary, and to the Saints in Para- 
dise. I firmly believe I have not wavered in 
the Christian Faith, nor would I ever." 

Article II accused Joan, " not only this year, 
but from her infancy," not only in Bishop 
Cauchon's diocese, but many other places, of 
having " composed, contrived and ordained a 
number of sacrileges and superstitions; she 
made herself a diviner; she caused herself to 
be adored and venerated; she invoked demons 
and evil spirits; consulted them, associated 
with them, made and had with them compacts, 
treaties, conventions," etc., and caused others 
to do the same. Not only that but maintained 
that all that sorcery, etc., was not a sin, on 
the contrary, commendable, and ended with the 
climax that in all this horror, she was caught 
at " in the limits, Bishop, of your diocese of 

As if that gave him perfect warrant to do 
his worst towards her. To all of which Joan 
entered a denial in toto. 


Article III charged her with promulgating 
doctrines contrary to the Church. 

Article IV went over her early life and how 
her godmother taught her intercourse with the 
fairies and evil spirits according to her own 

Joan in answer said : " As to the fairies, I 
do not know what they are. As to my teach- 
ing — I learnt to believe, and have been brought 
up well and duly to do what a good child ought 
to do." 

Articles V, VI, VII, still further elaborated 
about the fairies and the horrible superstitions 
and were simply denied by Joan. 

Articles VIII, IX, X, accused her of leaving 
home and living with bad women, and getting 
acquainted with soldiers, learning to ride 
horses and swear, and finally hauling a young 
man to court to force him to marry her, which 
he refused to do because she had been con- 
nected with bad women. 

Article XI accused her of boasting she 
would yet have three sons (by the Holy 

The next six articles lugubriously described 
her vile adoption of the dress of a man and her 
stubborn refusal to put it off, even to hear 
Mass, or receive Our Saviour's Body on Easter 


" If you refuse to let me hear Mass, it is in 
the power of Our Lord to let me hear Mass 
without you, when it shall please Him. I 
make no difference between man's dress and 
woman's dress for receiving my Saviour." 

Article XVIII charged Joan with inciting 
to murder and bloodshed inasmuch as she pre- 
vented Charles VII making peace with the 
English. What had she to say? 

" As to my Lord of Burgundy, I requested 
him by my ambassadors and my letters that 
he would make peace between the King and 
himself; but as to the English, the peace they 
need is that they may go away to their own 
country, to England." 

Thirty of the seventy articles were read to 
her that day, her reply to each in turn being 
duly recorded. The replies were mostly de- 
nials of the sorcery and insubordination to 
the Church and reference to former answers. 

Early next day they were all assembled again 
and the remaining forty articles read to Joan 
accusing her of, as usual, dealing with demons, 
setting herself up for divine honors, unwoman- 
liness in dress, and boldness in her claims to 
know only what God may know. To all of 
which her answers were simple and short and 
to the point; never taking back anything she 
iever said; always protesting her humble and 


thorough adhesion to the Church and the 
Faith; and always stoutly maintaining that 
she was sent directly by God to the aid of the 
French King and the French people. 

Article XXXV read : " Jeanne hath boasted 
and affirmed that she did know how to dis- 
cern those whom God loveth and those whom 
He hateth. What have you to say on this 

" I know well that God, for their well being, 
loves my King and the Duke of Orleans better 
than me. I know this by revelation. Of others 
I know not." 

Another article flatly accuses her of acting 
against the counsel of her Voices, so she was 
wrong in not obeying as well as in listening 
to and obeying them. Another read: 

" Jeanne hath said and published that the 
Saints, the Angels, and the Archangels speak 
the French language and not the English lan- 
guage, because the Saints, the Angels, and the 
Archangels are not on the side of the English, 
but of the French; she hath outraged the 
Saints in glory, in implying to them a mortal 
hatred against a Catholic realm and a nation 
devoted, according to the will of the Church, 
to the veneration of all the Saints." 

Jeanne, tired and annoyed as she was, 
smiled at the jealousy implied in the accusa- 


tion. She might have answered that the Saints 
spoke to her in the only tongue she understood, 
but she only said : 

" I rely upon God and upon what I replied 
before to this." 

Indeed, to nearly all the accusations and the 
" What have you to say to this ? " her answer 

" I have replied to that already." 

And so their badgering efforts to make her 
contradict herself always failed. 

" Jeanne is not afraid to lie in court, and to 
violate her own oath when on the subject of 
her revelations." 

" Jeanne hath labored to scandalize the peo- 
ple, to induce them to believe in her talk, 
taking to herself the authority of God and His 

"Jeanne hath abused the revelations and 
prophecies that she saith she hath had from 
God, to procure for herself lucre and temporal 

" She hath denied making certain predic- 
tions because they were not realized, though 
many people of trust report to have heard her 
make them." 

" Jeanne doth behave unseemly with men, 
and refuses the society of women." 

With phrases like these began each each 


article and the rest of the article contains the 
statement of facts to prove the accusation. 
To all of which Jeanne made denial or else 
simply referred to her former answers to the 
same charges. 

Article Seventy lied the boldest of all for it 
proclaimed : 

" All and each of these propositions con- 
tained in these Articles are true, notorious 
and manifest; the accused hath recognized 
and acknowledged these things as true, many 
times and suflSciently, before witnesses proved 
and worthy of belief, in and out of court." 

Poor Jeanne's ears were full of these vile 
accusations against her and her heart sore 
(only that the Holy Spirit was sustaining her) 
at the overwhelming power and numbers and 
persistency of her enemies and their evident 
hatred of her this Wednesday of Holy Week in 
the year 1431. 

She knew now they were thirsting for her 
death. The Seventy Articles were a jumble of 
every crime against God and man. But she 
did not lose her head nor her courage. She 
gave them no satisfaction. The ofScial record 
for this day ends thus: 

" We, the Bishop, did then address to Jeanne 
a Canonical Admonition. We told her that all 
the Assessors were persons of consummate 


knowledge, experts in law, human and divine, 
who desired and intended to proceed against 
her, as they had already done up to this time, 
with kindness and piety, and that, far from 
seeking vengeance or punishment, they desired, 
on the contrary, only her instruction and re- 
turn into the way of truth and salvation." 
And then he offered to appoint counsel to 
plead her cause for her. 

" To our exhortations Jeanne replied : ' As 
to that on which you admonish me for my good 
and for our Faith, I thank you and all the 
company also; as to the counsel which you 
offer me, also I thank you; but I have no in- 
tention of desisting from the counsel of Our 
Lord.' " 

Cauchon was not pleased with the answer, 
and the more he thought it over the less and 
less pleased was he. Joan had never for one 
moment directly or impliedly, acknowledged 
his right to try her or judge her, and it was not 
at all clear that she recognized the tribunal 
over which he sat, as the voice of the Church. 
That was a point to clear up and insist upon. 
It must be made plain that it was the Church 
she was opposing. Accordingly, on Saturday, 
Easter Eve, he and his little crowd of tor- 
mentors presented themselves before Joan in 
her prison again. 


" Will you refer yourself to the judgment of 
the Church on earth for all you have said or 
done, be it good or bad? Especially will you 
refer to the Church the cases, crimes, and of- 
fenses which are imputed to you and every- 
thing which touches on this trial? * * • if 
the Church Militant tells you that your reve- 
lations are illusions, or diabolical things, will 
you defer to the Church ? " 

" I will defer to God whose commandment 
I always do. I know well that that which is 
contained in my Case has come to me by the 
command of God. What I afflrm in the Case 
is, that I have acted by the order of God; it 
is impossible for me to say otherwise. In case 
the Church should prescribe the contrary, I 
should not refer to any one in the world, but 
to God alone whose commandment I always 

Cauchon was furious. She must be made to 
acknowledge his right to condemn her visions 
as illusions and her subsequent acts as diaboli- 

" Do you not believe that you are subject to 
the Church of God which is on earth, that is 
to say to our Lord the Pope, to the Cardinals, 
the Archbishops, Bishops, and other prelates 
of the Church? " 


"Yes, I believe myself subject to them; 
but God must be served first." 

" Have your Voices commanded you not to 
submit to the Church Militant, which is on 
earth, nor to its decisions?" 

" I answer nothing from my own head ; what 
I answer is by command of my Voices; they 
do not order me to disobey the Church, but 
God must be served first." 

Cauchon retired to cogitate again the simple 
wisdom of this " Daughter of God " so fear- 
fully tried. 

Meanwhile the Earl of Warwick and the 
Duke of Bedford in the name of the boy king 
were impatient with Cauchon. In other parts 
of France the French troops were gaining on 
the English. The Duke of Burgundy was 
showing less and less interest in his English 
allies. It was known that Joan was on trial 
and the fame of her, the fine courage she 
showed the English even in her chains was 
abroad. Many of the assessors were weaken- 
ing in their antagonism to her. Cauchon must 
hurry and do something tangible. Easter 
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, a commit- 
tee sat on the Seventy Arcticles and boiled 
them down to twelve without altering the 
vicious substance nor the bitter spirit of them. 

Copies of the Twelve Articles were sent to 


each of the assessors, most of whom had gone 
back to Paris for Easter. Thej were warned 
to read them at once and give their judgment 
on them as early as possible; and not later 
than April 10. Easter Sunday was on April 1 
that year. 

On the 18th of April the whole band trailed 
after Cauchon again to the prison of Joan 
to get her to say something that would look 
like acknowledgment of their right as " the 
Church " to judge her. They found her very 
ill, and she piteously appealed to them that 
she might have the Sacraments, and if it 
pleased God she should die, that she would 
have burial in consecrated ground. 

Now they thought they had her. 

They seized on her eagerness for the Sacra- 
ments and for Christian burial to scare her 
into accedance to their wishes. They declared 
if she would not submit to the Church, the 
Church must abandon her as an infidel. She 
assured them she believed in the Christian 
Faith ; in the divine revelation of the Holy 
Scriptures; that she loved God and would die 
a Christian, but she could make no other an- 
swer to their demands than she had made. 
She must leave the rest to God. Balked again 
they were and badly. But they had no notion 
of letting her die thus. The best doctor was 


sent to her, and told to cure her ; that the King 
of England had bought her too dearly to let 
her die quietly and privately. She must be 
publicly burned at the stake. The English 
Cardinal and the Earl of Warwick together 
visited her and admonished the doctor to do his 
best; and he did, and Joan was cured of the 
fever that had attacked her, so that by the 2d 
of May she was able to face her judges once 
more assembled in the great hall of the Castle. 

The meeting had been in session some time 
without her, listening to Cauchon's summing 
up of the whole case, in which he represented 
how he and his assistant assessors had gently 
tried to win her from her devilishness, but 
without avail. But once more they were going 
to admonish her and for this purpose " an an- 
cient master in theology, very learned and sin- 
gularly well versfed in these affairs, Maitre 
Jean de Chatillon, Archdeacon of Evreux '' 
was invited "to try his powers of persuasion on 

Joan was then brought before the assembly 
and told why she was sent for. The Lord 
Archdeacon was invited to proceed. He did, 
reading at first from manuscript describing 
the unity and beauty of the Church and the 
necessity of abiding by her rules for the gov- 
ernment of the faithful. And then he be- 


seeched her, with fervent voice and gesture, to 
listen to the gentle Bishops and Judges, here 
present, who had her soul's safety on their 
consciences, etc., etc. But Joan had only the 
one answer for him as for the others. 

" I rely on God, who caused me to do all 
these things. * * * If I saw the fire I should 
say nothing different." 

They assailed her again and again, repre- 
senting her as defying and denying the Church 

" I believe that the Church Militant cannot 
err or fail; but as to my words and deeds, I 
submit them and refer them all to God, who 
caused me to do what I have done." 

Finally, in desperation, they forgot them- 
selves and asked her: "Will you submit to 
our Holy Father the Pope?" 

" Take me to him, I will reply to him." 

Canonists then and since and now regard 
this as an appeal to the Pope — informal but 
valid — and her legal right, if there had been 
any legality at all in her trial by Cauchon, 
which there was not. 

One of the assessors reminded Joan that 
there was a council of prelates siting at Basle 
just then, in which prelates of her party were 
as numerous as the others, and asked would 
she be willing to let her case go to them. 


Yes, if there were true French prelates in 
the council, she would submit her case to them, 
she said. But Cauchon quickly changed the 
subject, telling the Judge, who offered the 
suggestion to mind his own business, " in the 
devil's name." 

The whole day's strenuous efforts of that 
big band of theologians failed to get anything 
different from Joan, and in disgust, and 
wearied, even more than she was, they ordered 
her back to prison. 

That day week they returned to the charge. 

They assembled this time in the torture 
chamber of the castle. All the instruments 
were there in front of her and then they told 
her they could force her to tell the truth and 
acknowledge her sorceries. The executioners 
were standing ready at a word to force her 
back into ways of truth and salvation. But 
they did not scare Joan. Her pale face was a 
shade paler, and her poor bound hands clasped 
her chains convulsively; but she said bravely, 
yet quietly and slowly, as if half to herself: 

" Truly, if you tear me limb from limb, and 
separate soul from body, I will tell you noth- 
ing else; and if I were to say anything else, 
I should always afterwards declare that you 
made me say it by force. Last Thursday I 
received comfort from St. Gabriel, and I asked 


counsel of my Voices, if I ought to submit 
because the clergy were pressing me hard. I 
asked of my Voices if I should be burned, 
and they answered me : ' Wait on Our Lord, 
He will help thee.' " 

The judges " seeing the manner of her re- 
plies, and her obdurate mind, and feeling that 
the agony of torture would not do her any 
good, postponed the torture until they had 
further counsel." She was sent back to prison 
and they took counsel together. Three of 
them were for putting her on the rack to 
" break her stubbornness." Eleven were of the 
opinion it would do no good, seeing she might 
retract, as she said she would, and fearing also 
in the state of her health, she might not sur- 
vive it, and the King of England wanted a 
public execution. 

There was, then, a week's rest all around, 
while the reply from the University of Paris 
was awaited. It came. The twelve Articles 
had been duly considered and the decision was 
that Joan's St. Michael, St. Catherine and 
St. Margaret were really Belial, Satan and 
Behemoth; Joan a crafty traitor and liar and 
heretic. But they advised still further gentle 
admonitions. On May 23d, Pierre Maurice 
brought her the compliments of the University 


and a lengthy exhortation to save her life and 
her soul by telling the truth. 

" If I saw the fire lit, if I were in the flames, 
I would say no other thing than I have said," 
was Joan's answer, which as the recorder 
wrote down he characterized in a marginal 
note as " Jeanne's superb answer." 

Pierre Maurice was a Canon of the Cathedral 
of Rouen and he and the Rouen clergy in the 
trial were all sorry for Joan, and in no hurry 
to send her to the stake, but the English Lords 
were, and gave Cauchon no peace. 

Then the Judges announced that they could 
delay sentence and punishment no longer, and 
declared the Process concluded, and ordered 
all to assemble again to-morrow " to hear the 
law which will be laid down by Us, the Judges, 
competent in this Process, and the sentence 
which shall be pronounced by Us, to be after- 
wards carried out and proceeded with accord- 
ing to law and right." 


Joan is cheated into a show of recanting. 

The farce of a trial of Joan of Arc by eccle- 
siastical tools of England in France was over, 
and Pierre Cauchon had announced that sen- 
tence would be given in the public square on 
the morrow. 

A great many people in Kouen did not sleep 
that night. To be sentenced to death meant 
speedy execution. A public burning at the 
stake was an event of great moment. All 
night workmen were busy erecting the neces- 
sary platforms. One for the Bishop and his 
assistants, and one for the recorders and the 
accused. These were built quite close to the 
walls of the Church of St. Ouen. 

One canopied and carpeted and both with a 
flight of steps leading up to a height just over 
men's heads. About ten yards off in front of 
both, was a little pyramid of stones, a stake 
'rising from the midst, and bundles of dry 
faggots piled around and in a separate stack 



People going into the church to the early 
Masses on the morning of the 24th of May, 
1431, saw these; and as they came out again 
after Mass, they saw the pot of coals at the 
foot of the stake, and three executioners stand- 
ing grim and stiff in waiting. In all the streets 
leading to the square were streams of people, 
that soon became a solid mass of dark heads 
in the square. 

Already the English soldiers had formed — 
shoulder to shoulder — a solid wall around the 
three platforms, a square within the square. 
Soon the Bishop of Beauvais, Cardinal Beau- 
fort of England, the Bishop of Norfolk, and 
half a dozen other eminent ecclesiastics of the 
English Party, filled one of the platforms — 
the canopied one. 

The recorder and their clerks filed into the 
seats provided for them on the other platform, 
and then Joan was brought, under a strong 
escort, and seated in this second platform, in 
full view of the judges and the multitude. 
Loyseleur, the English spy, who was also a 
French priest, was by her side, as if giving 
counsel and comfort. But she was wearied and 
worried-looking, according to all the accounts 
of eye-witnesses. All night she had been tor- 
mented in her prison by Loyseleur, Beaupre 
and others, urging her to save herself by sub- 


mitting to the judgment of " the Church," and 
acknowledging herself wrong in the whole pro- 

She had seemed to listen to them and to half 
acquiesce to their demands, and now she looked 
so haggard and listless, Cauchon saw his op- 
portunity. Of course they had found her 
guilty of numerous, most heinous crimes 
against God and England, and could, without 
five minutes' delay, and with religious and 
legal formality, make ashes of her. 

But that did not suit at all. She would die 
thus a martyr and her stake would be as a pil- 
lar of fire to guide and nerve the French ar- 
mies, already aflame with their success against 
the English pretensions. 

If Joan could be made to acknowledge her- 
self and her mission a fraud, then Charles VII 
might feel uneasy under the crown which she 
placed on his head, and the French allegiance 
might be saved to the English crown. 

She must be made to abjure and acknowl- 
edge herself a liar and an impostor. And if 
she was an impostor so was the King of 

The solidity of the French throne rested on 
her fame. Everything was ready for her death, 
but Cauchon and his aides were not at all 
ready. Beaupere had told that he believed she 


was wavering, and so a great preacher, the 
bosom friend once of the confessor of her king, 
William Erard, Doctor of Divinity, was ap 
pointed to preach to her once more and get her 
to condemn herself publicly. 

He made a most fervent appeal to her to 
tell the- truth and submit to the Church. Then 
he stormed at her. 

" O France ! " he said, " how hast thou been 
abused! Thou hast always been the home of 
Christianity ; but now, Charles, who calls him- 
self thy king and governor, indorses, like the 
heretic and schismatic that he is, the words 
and deeds of a worthless and infamous woman. 
I tell you that your King is a heretic and 

Joan had been a listless listener so far, but 
when her King's honor was attacked, she raised 
her eyes to the speaker's face and said, with 
spirit, loud enough for the recorder anyhow, 
who put it down faithfully : 

" By my faith, sir ! I make bold to say and 
swear, on pain of death, that he is the most 
noble Christian of all Christians, and the best 
lover of the Faith and the Church." 

At last in a loud and impressive manner the 
reverend preacher summoned for the last time, 
the prisoner to submit to the Church. Then he 


paused, and the whole assemblage paused, for 
Joan's answer: 

" As to that matter I have answered my 
judges before. I have told them to report all 
that I have said and done to our Holy Father, 
the Pope — to whom and to God, first, I ap- 

Well might Cauchon and his English backers 
be furious with her now. So formal and pub- 
licly expressed an appeal to the Pope, took the 
case out of their hands, according to all law, 
civil and ecclesiastical. This was not the sub- 
mission to the Church they wanted at all. 

They were all angry, and while they were 
dumbfoundedly considering what next, she 
gave them another thrust : 

" I charge my deeds and words upon no one, 
neither upon my King, nor upon any other. 
If there be any fault in them, I am responsible 
and no other." 

" Will you recant those of your words and 
deeds that have been pronounced evil by your 
judges here present?" 

" I submit them to God and the Pope." The 
appeal to Rome repeated and so openly! 

Cauchon ground his teeth for a moment; 
then he explained to her that the Pope was too 
far away, and that the present judges had 
power and authority to deal with her case, and 


either to burn her, or imprison her for life, or 
pardon her and set her free, just as they 
chose. But she must act at once and abjure; 
and Erard showed her a written form he had 
made out for her signature, which would 
restore her to the Church, from which she was 
separated by excommunication, and, " as I be- 
lieve," said he, " save your life as well as your 

"What is 'to abjure'?" she asked, and the 
meaning of the word was explained to her. 

" I appeal to the Universal Church whether 
or not I ought to abjure." 

" You shall abjure instantly or instantly be 
burned," said Erard. 

Joan's face blanched at the words, and she 
looked pitifully from one to the other of the 
priests and lawyers surrounding her. " God 
and St. Michael counsel me ! " she cried. 

Erard had his paper ready and they crowded 
round her urging her. "Ah! You do not do 
well to seduce me," she said, as she probably 
ran over in her mind the delights of freedom. 
Cauchon rose at this point to read the sen- 
tence of death, the first words pealing out in 
frightful solemnity. 

" In the name of the Lord, Amen. 

" All the pastors of the Church who have it 
in their hearts to watch faithfully over their 


flocks, should, when the pernicious Sower of 
Errors, works by his machinations and deceits, 
etc., etc. ■" 

Joan held up her hands appealingly as the 
Bishop went on; and when silence was ob- 
tained, she said with a moan : 

" I submit." 

And, repeating Loyseleur's prompting: 

" I will hold all that the Church ordains, 
all that you, the judges, wish to say and decree 
— in all I will refer myself to your orders." 

Cauchon stopped his sentence to hear her 
and made her repeat, which she did, saying: 

" Inasmuch as the clergy decide that the 
apparitions and revelations which I have had 
are not to be maintained or believed, I will not 
believe nor maintain them ; in all I refer me to 
you and to our Holy Mother Church ! " 

Immediately Massieu was ready with the 
paper for her to sign. A short paper of half 
a dozen lines, as many on the platform tes- 
tified to afterwards. He read it for her, and 
she repeated the words after him. Then he 
told her she must sign it. 

Now everything was confusion. The people 
who had come to see a burning were dissatis- 
fied and got into rows with the people who 
were glad the prisoner was to escape. The 
English lords were in a tumult and one of 


them accused Cauchon of treachery to Eng- 
land. But Cauchon and Massieu and Erard 
and Loyseleur knew what they were doing. 

Joan was urged to sign quickly and so get 
into ecclesiastical hands and out of excommu- 
nication, etc., etc. 

Dazed and weary she took the pen while a 
secretary of the King of England held and 
guided her hand, signing " Jeanne," to a paper 
that was deftly substituted for the one read to 
her, and which contained a detailed list of 
crimes and abominations committed by her. 

The Substituted Paper. 

" I confess that I have most grievously 
sinned, in pretending untruthfully to have 
revelations and apparitions from God, from, 
the Angels, from St. Margaret and St. Cather- 
rine, etc. » * * l swear to my lord Saint Peter, 
Prince of the Apostles, to our Holy Father the 
Pope of Rome, Christ's Vicar, and his succes- 
sors, and to you my Lords, the reverend Father 
in God my Lord the Bishop of Beauvais, the 
religious person. Brother Jean Lemaitre, 
Deputy of my Lord the Inquisitor of the Faith, 
as my judges, that never, will I return to the 
aforesaid errors, etc., etc." 

It was a long document and is still in the 


Archives at Paris, with Joan's signature at- 

But various eye-witnesses testified later that 
the document read to Joan to sign was but a 
matter of five or six lines for which the other 
was substituted in the confusion. She was not 
scrutinizing and alert as she had been. She 
had in reality signed a paper confessing her- 
self a liar, an impostor, a sorceress, a dealer 
with devils, a blasphemer of God and His 
saints. Over her signature was the promise 
not to wear her soldier dress, and to wear 
hair like other women, and so on. She did 
not know it. She seemed too weary to care. 
Then Cauchon read aloud the words dissolving 
the excommunication and brought a ray of 
light at last to her countenance. She smiled 
and raised her eyes to heaven. The next sen- 
ence dispelled that light all too quickly: 

" And that she may repent of her crimes, 
and repeat them no more, she is sentenced to 
perpetual imprisonment, with the bread of af- 
fliction and the water of anguish." 

" Perpetual imprisonment ! " That was 
something Joan never dreamed of. It was 
never even hinted to her in all the tricks and 
cruelties put upon her. It came upon her now 
with an awful suddenness that crushed her. 
Only for a moment. The buoyancy of youth, 


the quick intuitions that served her so well as a 
general, maybe the whisper of her Voices, came 
to her relief. She remembered that she was to 
be in the hands of ecclesiastics, now that she 
had submitted to the ecclesiastics who judged 
her. She snatched at that ray of comfort. 
There was almost exultation in her voice as 
she turned to Erard and said : 

" Now you men of the Church take me to 
your prison, and leave me no longer in the 
hands of the English." 

And she stood as if ready and eager to go. 

Cold and cruel and deliberate came the 
voice of Cauchon as her jailers looked to him 
for orders : 

" Take her back to the prison whence she 

And for the first time since she was cap- 
tured, exactly that day one year before, Joan 
lost her brave, patient attitude towards her 
enemies. She collapsed and had to be carried 
rather than led back to the Earl of Warwick's 
Castle, and to the steady companionship of the 
three English boors with whom she had not 
made friends in all her months of imprison- 

There were anguish and tumult in Joan's 
heart in that hour. There were anger and 


tumult also in the square of St. Ouen. Hun- 
dreds were glad the stake was cheated, though 
they did not understand all that was done on 
the two platforms that day. Hundreds were 
angry that she had escaped — they did not 
know why; and there were small riots every- 
where. Among the English Lords and their 
French tools of clergymen, there was tumult, 
too. Nothing but her death by Are would 
satisfy the Earl of Warwick and his fellows 
and they turned on Cauchon with fury. 

When the King of England formally handed 
her to the care of Cauchon, it was with the 
plainly expressed provision that if he did not 
find her guilty of death, she was to be re- 
manded back to the King of England's care. 
As Cauchon failed to send her to the stake he 
was out of it now, and they owed him nothing, 
except blame for delaying so long with his 
trials and preachings. 

Cauchon's smile of congratulation is down 
in every record of this day's doings. He even 
rubbed his hands with glee, we are told, and 
bade them be patient, he would soon satisfy 
them. He and Cardinal Beaufort had their 
plans and they were working beautifully. 
There was only one more act in the farce, and 
then the final scene would be in the hands of 
the English soldiers to their own content. 


The great meeting in the square broke up. 
The platforms and the stake remained. 

Cauchon and some of his clique went straight 
to Joan's prison and brought her a woman's 
dress, and made her put it on, and told her if 
she wore any other it would be a sign of re- 
lapse into her sins and would mean immediate 
death to her. That was Thursday afternoon. 
Joan lay like one dazed and despairing on her 
cot all Friday and Saturday. Early Sunday 
morning she woke from a sleep of exhaustion 
and wished to get up. While she had slept her 
guards had taken her woman's dress and left 
in its place the forbidden costume. 

Joan begged for the other, reminding them 
it meant death for her to resume the male 
dress. They would not give her the other, nor 
any explanations as to why they would not, 
and in sheer desperation, and with a calm 
resignation to meet the worst and fight no 
more, Joan put on the only dress, the man's 
dress, she could get. 

She was obliged to get up and had to cover 

As if watching for the moment and knowing 
it would come, Cauchon burst in upon her and 
with great show of anger reproached her for 
relapsing into her old sins. 

Out he went with the news to his English 


masters and before noon the word was all over 
Eouen : " Joan has relapsed ! Joan has re- 
lapsed ! " 

Cauchon's victory was complete. He could 
condemn her now as a relapsed heretic without 
any further delay and the whole world would 
believe that she got what she deserved. A 
heretic was bad and deserved death — but so 
much more so, one who acknowledged her sin 
and swore repentance, and then immediately 
went back to her crimes. 

To be sure Joan answered when questioned 
about it stubbornly. When she saw how she 
was tricked she made up her mind that it was 
no use to fight any longer for her life. So 
instead of complaining that she had to put on 
male dress because no other dress was left her, 
she stoutly maintained that she never meant 
or understood herself to promise that she 
would not resume it. She said, too, as the 
promises made to here were not kept, neither 
was she bound. It was never her way to blame 

" Do you still believe in your Voices ? " 
asked Cauchon. 

" Yes, and that they come from God." 
" Yet you denied them on the scaffold." 
" If I made retractions and revocations on 
the scaffold it was from fear of the fire, and 


was a violation of the truth. ♦ * • I would 
rather do my penance all at once. Let me die. 
I cannot endure captivity any longer." 

Cauchon went from Joan to the Earl of 
Warwick. " Make yourselves comfortable. It 
is all over with her." 

The next day he summoned his serfs and 
forty-two (out of the original sixty-two) came 
at his call. It took very little time for them 
to decide Joan was a relapsed heretic, and con- 
demned her to be delivered over to the secular 
arm of the law, that is, to the civil authorities, 
for punishment. 

Orders were immediately issued that Joan 
be conveyed in the morning to the place known 
as the Old Market, there to be delivered to the 
civil judge and by him to the executioner. 

It was Joan of Arc's last night upon earth. 
For once her persecutors left her alone all 

In spirit bowed she kneels alone, 

And prays that Power at whose command 

She rose to free her fettered land, 

To he her shield in every ill. 

And give her strength to do His will. 

Then swift as light her thoughts go back. 
Along the past's familiar track — 
The fields where oft in childhood's hours 
She watched her flock and gathered flowers ; 
The lowly hamlet chapel, where 


Each day was breathed her fervent prayer; 
Her cottage homestead's humble walls. 
To her more dear than palace halls — 
All meet her view ; she pictures there 
Her father with his silvery hair 

Grown brighter, and her mother's brow 
By sorrow marked, and silent now 
Her gay young brothers, whose light mirth 
Of old made glad the household hearth. 
She knows 'tis sorrow for her fate 

That makes their hearts so desolate; 
The warrior's sternness disappears, 
The woman's cheek is wet with tears. 

At length by weariness oppressed. 
The captive closed her eyes in rest, 

And peaceful slumber deep and calm. 

That brings a sweet though transient balm 

For every ill, in pity stole 

Its downy pinions o'er her soul. 

She slept — the dreaded funeral pyre. 

The yelling crowd the blistering fire 
Forgot, for God perhaps had given 
To bless her dreams a glimpse of heaven 
While angels spread their wings to shade 
The slumbers of the naartyr maid. 


The cmel death scene— The illegal trial ends in illegal 

Early in the morning of May 30, 1431, 
Joan's jailer admitted to her cell the Domin- 
ican Friar, Martin Ladvenu and Jean Mas- 
sieu, a Dean of Rouen, Doctor of Theology, 
and who as Usher and Citer of Cauchon's 
Court, was prominent in the trial from the 
beginning and always had access to Joan's 
cell. Joan noted the portentous gravity of 
their looks. 

" You bring me a message ? " she asked of 
Friar Ladvenu. 

" I am come to prepare you for death." 

"Death! How soon?" 

" Even now. You are cited to appear in 
the Old Market Place at 8 o'clock." 

"What kind of death?" 

And he hardly had uttered the words "by 
fire," when she cried out agonizingly: 

" I knew it ! I knew it ! Oh ! it is too cruel ; 

too cruel! And must this body which has 

never been defiled, be consumed to-day — 

reduced to ashes! Sooner would I that my 



head were cut off seven times than suffer the 
flames. I had the promise of the Church's 
prison when I submitted, and if I had been In 
the Church's prison and not left here in the 
hands of my enemies, this had not befallen 
me. Oh, I appeal to the Great Judge against 
this injustice done me!" 

Just then Cauchon accompanied by Warwick 
and Pierre Maurice showed himself at the 
" Bishop, it is by you that I die." 
"Patience, Joan; you die because you have 
not kept your promise but have returned to 
your sins," said the Bishop. 

" Alas ! if you had kept your promise and 
put me in the Church's prison, this would not 
come to pass. And for this I summon you to 
answer before God." 

The Bishop winced and turned away with 
Warwick; Pierre Maurice before leaving put 
his hand as if in compassionate farewell bene- 
diction on her head. 

" Master Peter, where shall I be this night? " 
" Have you not good hope in God ? " 
" Yes, and by His grace I shall be in Para- 

Friar Ladvenu heard her confession and 
sent to Cauchon asking if she might not receive 
the Holy Communion. 


" Give her whatever she wants now," was 
Cauchon's answer, and he ordered the Blessed 
Sacrament conveyed to her as quietly and 
secretly as possible, without lights or acolytes. 

Ladvenu would not have it so. He got to- 
gether the proi)er accessories and formed a 
procession of priests and acolytes, and the 
Body of her Saviour was brought to Joan's cell 
through lines of kneeling, weeping, praying 
people on the streets adjacent to the Castle, 
saying aloud the prayers for the dying. The 
tolling of the bell had been the signal that 
brought them out for the public execution. 

Quickly a long white robe was thrown over 
Joan and the two friars, Isambard and Lad- 
venu, climbed with her into the felon's cart 
sent to convey her to the Old Market Place. 
A regiment of eight hundred English soldiers 
surrounded the cart. For the English feared 
she would escape them somehow. 

As the cart turned a corner of a street lead- 
ing to the square a great commotion was 
caused by a howling man darting through the 
lines of the military and clinging to the cart, 
crying : " Pardon, pardon, pardon." It was 
Loyseleur who, for English promise of prefer- 
ment, had spied on her, and lied to her, and 
then gave false reports to blacken her char- 
acter to suit his masters. Joan willingly for- 


gave him, but not so the English soldiers for 
seeking her pardon. Only for the Earl of War- 
wick's quick interposition, he would have met 
his deserts at their hands, right there and then. 

The platforms of the day before at St. Ouen's 
had been moved to the Market Square, and on 
one of these Joan was placed, all alone, to 
signify her abandonment by the Church. On 
the other platform sat Cauchon, Warwick, the 
English Cardinal Winchester, and a number 
of Divines from the Paris University. The 
Rouen clergy had largely during the trial be- 
come sympathisers with Joan and showed it 
as far as they dared, and so won the distrust 
of Cauchon and his Englishmen. One of these 
Paris Doctors of Divinity, Nicholas Midi, was, 
as soon as the bustle of getting into place 
quieted down, bidden to preach. He took his 
text from St. Paul to the Corinthians : " If one 
member suffer, all the members suffer with it," 
applying it to Joan, that the corrupt member 
was to be cut off to save the whole body. It 
was not long and Joan seemed to listen res- 
pectfully, her pale countenance cast down over 
her clasped hands. 

Then the Bishop in a brief, bitter speech, 
harangued her before reading the long sen- 
tence of excommunication, that handed her 
over to the civil authorities for judgment and 


sentence and execution. But the civil author- 
ities failed to condemn her, though the Bailly 
of Rouen, the civil magistrate was there on a 
raised platform. According to the Friar Lad- 
venu (who testified under oath years later) : 

"When she had been finally preached to in 
the Old Market Place and abandoned to the 
secular authority, although the secular judges 
were seated on the platform, in no way was she 
condemned by any of these judges, but without 
being condemned she was forced by two ser- 
geants to come down from the platform, and 
was taken by the said sergeants to the place 
where she was to be burned, and by them de- 
livered into the hands of the executioner.'' 

The illegal trial was to end in illegal execu- 

But no one was there to protest. The fear 
of the English was more than the fear of God, 
and the English were in a hurry. 

It was drawing towards noon time. The 
Dominicans, Isambard and Ladvenu, drew near 
to Joan and spoke words of courage. 

Joan kneeled down between them and in 
loud clear tones prayed for France, for her 
King. She begged the prayers and forgiveness 
of all those around her, her enemies, as well as 
those who wept with her. The cries of the 
women beyond the cordon of soldiers came to 


her ears and almost unnerved her. She begged 
for a cross. 

An English soldier took a fagot from the 
pile prepared for her burning, broke it in two 
and fastened it in the shape of a cross. She 
thankfully took it, kissed it, and placed it in 
her bosom. Then she remembered that the 
Church of St. Savior was near and asked one 
of the Dominicans to get her a Crucifix from 
there. He did so, bringing the tall proces- 
sional cross which she embraced with tears 
running down her cheeks, and uttering most 
beautiful words of love and gratitude to God 
in a firm clear voice. 

Bishop Cauchon came down from his plat- 
form to speak to her. Once more she addressed 
to him the words that made him shiver : " It 
is by you that I die." 

"Do you still believe in your Saints?" he 
asked, but she answered him no more, praying 
instead in a loud voice to St. Michael and St. 
Catherine and St. Margaret to come to her 
quick release. 

All this time the executioners were placing 
her in position and fastening her body with 
chains to the stake, in several places, from her 
shoulders to her knees. 

Friar Isambard was speaking words of com- 
fort and courage and holding the Crucifix to 


her lips. The executioner descended and Joan 
was alone, and looking once around her at the 
sky and the distant hills and the multitudes 
near by, she exclaimed : 

" Oh, Rouen, Eouen, must I die here and 
must you be my tomb ? " 

Again Isambard was at her side to encourage 
her, but her enemies were in a hurry. 

" What, priest ! wilt thou have us dine 
here? " Joan herself begged him to step down, 
but to keep the cross before her eyes till the 
last. On her head was placed a paper cap 
bearing the inscription: 

" Heretic, Relapsed, Apostate, Idolater," and 
out of reach of the fire was a large placard 
bearing her record according to these judges, 
that she blasphemed God, reviled the Saints, 
despised the Church, held dealings with Satan 
and other vile charges. 

High up and close to her eyes, Isambard held 
the Crucifix, while the executioner placed the 
coals among the dry faggots below, and the 
first whiflf of smoke drew an agonizing cry from 
her lips. Only one. Doubtless her Saints came 
to her aid. Begging Isambard to step out of 
danger but keep the Cross up high, she called 
from out the flame the sweet name of Jesus 
and repeated it many times. Most of the 
people, and a great many of the judges went 


away at the first sign of the smoke rising, not 
wanting to see what would harrow their souls. 

Swiftly the flames shot up and enveloped 
her. Once the executioner forcibly parted 
them to let those interested see she was really 
there and had not vanished nor been rescued. 

With one last loud cry of " Jesus " her suffer- 
ings were at last ended, and a black page 
fastened forever in England's history. Joan of 
Arc was no more on earth. She was with her 
Saints in Paradise. 

The executioner, when the fire died down, 
gathered her ashes and threw them into the 
Seine to be sure she was really gone. He 
found her heart unconsumed by the fire and 
threw it after her ashes into the swift river. 

A certain Englishman who hated her greatly 
because of her victories over the English, had 
sworn to bring a faggot for her stake. When 
he did so and heard her calling on the name 
of Jesus, he fainted and had to be dragged 
away from the fire. He confessed afterward 
that he felt he had raised his hand against a 
holy one. He saw, he said, as he looked up at 
her and heard her last cry, her spirit leaving 
her body, in the shape of a white dove. 

That afternoon the executioner came to the 


Convent of the Dominicans to confess; saying 
he feared he was damned because he had 
burned a saint. 

" He never before felt so great dread of his 
oflSce as in this burning of the Maid, and for 
many reasons, but mostly for the cruel manner 
of fastening her to the stake — for the English 
had caused a high scaffold to be made of 
plaster, so all might see her, and the execu- 
tioner could not well reach her to hasten mat- 
ters, at which he was much vexed, as it was 
wanton and unnecessary cruelty." 

Her death did more to bring back the alle- 
giance of the people of Rouen to their lawful 
King than did even the victories of the French 
armies. The multitude went home that day 
weeping and crying that a Saint had been 
burned in their midst, and a great wrong put 
upon their city by it. 

Even in death she was not out of the reach 
of her enemies. Knowing that it would be 
asked of him why if Joan had returned to her 
sins and died a heretic, she was allowed the 
Sacraments, Cauchon drew up a document ex- 
plaining that she had at the last few moments 
in her cell, made all proper submission and 

That document was brought out later, but it 
lacked the signatures of the only honest men 


on the trial and was discounted. This docu- 
ment is dated June 7, a week after the execu- 
tion of Joan. With it are letters of guarantee 
of safety from the King of England to those 
responsible for the trial and execution, and a 
letter from the University of Paris to the Pope 
explaining in their own pro-English way the 
whole proceedings. 


The official rehabilitation of Joan's character after her 

While the trial of Joan of Arc was going 
on at Eouen, her brother Jacques died in Dom- 
remy. When the news of the burning reached 
Domremy her father's heart broke and he died. 

The whole people of France were broken- 
hearted for the loss of their champion, and for 
a time all energies seemed paralyzed. Fear 
and shame fell upon the English and the 
French both. For though Joan was burned as 
a heretic and idolatress and sorceress — no one 
believed she was any of these things; and 
those who were responsible for her death, 
Frenchmen or Englishmen, took refuge under 
the ten-year-old King of England's letters of 
protection to all who had a hand in her death. 

Cauchon did not long need the protection of 
the English King. He died suddenly in the 
barber's chair not long after. His chief aid, in 
the whole tragedy, Nicholas Midi, had already 
died of leprosy. 

After a spell of gloomy inactivity Joan's 


prayers for her beloved France were felt. The 
King's base chief-minister, La Tremoille, was 
deposed, and the brave Eichemont took his 
place. The Count de Dunois (Bastard of Or- 
leans), D'Aulon, D'Alencon, La Hire, gathered 
their forces before Paris and took it from the 
English; and in 1436 King Charles entered 
amid the great rejoicing of the people and took 
solemn possession of his capital as Joan had 

Step by step he regained all his territory, 
until in 1449, all of Normandy had returned 
to his allegiance and the City of Rouen flew 
his flag over the towers of Warwick's old 
castle, where Joan's imprisonment was suf- 
fered, and in the old Market Square where the 
horror of her death still lingered. 

Here it was brought home to Charles vividly 
that the stigma thrown on the Maid of Orleans 
was also a stigma on his crown, in a manner. 
He therefore issued a Declaration empower- 
ing the Rector of the University of Paris (now 
purged of most of its English taint), to en- 
quire into the trial of Joan by " our ancient 
English enemies, who against reason had 
cruelly put her to death." 

Three weeks later a Commission sat in 
Rouen, on March 4 and 5, 1450. Seven wit- 
nesses were heard. Four Dominicans of 


Rouen, one of them her confessor; the usher 
of the court (the Bedford-Cauchon Court that 
condemned her) Massieu; the notary, Man- 
chon; and Canon Beaupere, one of the chief 

Toutmouille, one of the Dominicans, testi- 

" Before her death the English proposed to 
lay siege to Louviers, but deemed it better to 
wait the result of the trial. Immediately after 
she was burnt they besieged Louviers, for they 
thought that while she was alive they could 
not have success in deeds of war." 

That was to show the animus of the Trial 
and Execution. The other Dominicans testi- 
fied to her true Catholicity and true woman- 

Manchon's testimony was longest and most 
valuable and bore most heavily on the French 
clerical tools of England, though at the time 
of the Trial he was obliged to act for both 
French and English, without any protest or 
show of sympathy with Joan. He told of how 
the chief oflScer of the Inquisition who had 
come on from Paris for the Trial, saw that " it 
proceeded rather from hatred and anger on 
account of the quarrel with the King of 
France," and so would not have anything to 


do with it and because of his refusal he had to 
leave Bouen and even France, taking refuge 
in Rome. The Vice Inquisitor took his place 
on the Trial. 

Massieu deposed among other things that 
for one word he let drop about the irregularity 
of the Trial, the Bishop of Beauvais told him 
" Be very careful or he should be made to drink 
more than was good for him," meaning he 
would be thrown into the Seine. 

Beaupere, a Canon of Rouen, excused his 
ugly attitude towards Joan during the Trial 
by the great fear of the English, that shut 
many mouths who would have said a good 
word for Joan at the Trial. 

The Commission sent all the evidence they 
collected with their unanimous verdict that the 
Process of Condemnation of the Maid of Or- 
leans should be declared null and void. 

Nothing further was heard from the King or 
Council, however, for two years. The Univer- 
sity of Paris had enough pro-English influence 
within its walls to delay definite proceedings 
in the matter. Two years later, the Cardinal 
Bishop of Digne, who was Legate in France 
for Pope Nicholas V, took up the matter in 
answer to an appeal from Joan's mother, who 
claimed on civil grounds the restoration of her 
daughter's character and the family honor, 


which had been hurt by the imputation of 
heresy cast upon one of its members. 

In consequence a second Commission of In- 
quiry was opened at Rouen, in April, 1452, at 
which twenty-one witnesses were examined. 
English influence again hindered any action 
on the mass of evidence which brought out the 
cruelty and illegality of the Trial in strong 
colors ; and showed Joan's death to be a public 
political crime, not chargeable to the Church 
nor the proper ecclesiastical authorities, in any 

There was nothing definite done for three 
more years. Then Pope Nicholas V died and 
the d'Arc family formally petitioned his suc- 
cessor, Calixtus III, to open the case again, 
which he did on November 7, 1455, in the 
Church of Notre Dame in Paris. 

The Archbishop of Rheims, the Bishop of 
Paris, the Bishop of Coutances and the chief 
officer of the Inquisition formed the Court. At 
the feet of this Court the mother of Joan threw 
herself, with the Papal Rescript in her hand, 
and tears running down her cheeks, as she im- 
plored justice for her murdered daughter's 
name. The chronicles of the time tell us the 
Court was moved to tears, and the whole peo- 
ple joined aloud in one great petition for 
" justice to Joan of Arc." 


The judges took all the testimony and on 
December 12, the Trial was opened. 

The advocate for the mother and brothers 
of Joan of Arc, brought his formal accusation 
against the Judge and Promoter of the Trial 
of the Maid of Orleans at Rouen. The asses- 
sors were not included in the accusation be- 
cause they were, he said, led by false deduc- 
tions into wrong conclusions, and could not be 
held responsible. 

Thus the Bishop of Beauvais or his heirs, 
were the chief defendants. 

As only the plaintiff's were represented, the 
Court adjourned to give the defendants an op- 
portunity to put in their appeal, and citations 
to do so were nailed on the church doors and 
other public places. 

On December 20th — the last day appointed 
for the appearance of any representative of 
the accused — only the advocate of the family 
of Cauchon presented himself. 

He made declaration that the heirs of the 
late Bishop Cauchon had no desire to maintain 
the validity of a Trial with which they had no 
concern, that Joan had been the victim of the 
hatred of the English, and that therefore the 
responsibility fell rather upon the English 
who had urged on Cauchon and begged finally 
that the Rehabilitation of Joan might not be 


to their prejudice as they had accepted the 
amnesty of the King of France when he retook 

The Court decided readily that Cauchon's 
heirs were not to be held responsible in any 
way. No other defendants appearing, the Pro- 
moter formulated his accusation in proper 
form, pronouncing the Court that tried Joan 
incompetent, the methods of its procedure un- 
fair, its sentence illegal and its execution ir- 
regular. Then to settle the Maid's character 
and the character of her mission to reconquer 
the country from its old-time enemies, a 
special inquiry was ordered to be made at 
Domremy, Vaucouleurs and elsewhere, into the 
life and conduct of the Maid. 

Everybody was questioned who knew the 
Maid at any time. 

The Registrars of the illegal trial laid their 
properly attested books before the Court with 
attestation of their authenticity, and their dis- 
claimers of any sympathy with the judges 
whose records they were obliged to make at the 

On the 7th of June, 1456, at 8 o'clock in the 
morning, the Pontifical Delegates met in the 
Archiepiscopal Palace at Rouen and the 
formal sentence of the restoration of Joan's 
character was solemnly read by the Archbishop 
of Rheims. 


The document is a noble one, beginning as 
was usual in those days : " In the name of the 
Holy and Undivided Trinity, Father, Son and 
Holy Ghost. Amen." 

The providence of the Eternal majesty, the 
Saviour, Christ, Lord God and man, hath in- 
stituted for the rule of His Church Militant, 
the Blessed Peter and his Apostolic successors. 
He hath made them His principal representa- 
tives, and charged them, by the light of Truth, 
which He hath manifested to them, to teach 
men justice, protecting the good, relieving the 
oppressed in the whole universe, and, by a 
reasonable judgment, bringing back into the 
right road those who have turned therefrom. 

Invested with this Apostolic Authority, for 
the matter in question, we, Jean of Eheims, 
William of Paris, and Richard of Coutances, 
by the grace of God Archbishops and Bishop, 
and Jean Brehal, of the Order of St. Dominic, 
Professor of Sacred Theology, one of the two 
Inquisitors of the Heretical Evil for the 
Realm of France, all four judges specially 
delegated by our most holy Lord the Pope ac- 
tually reigning: 

Having seen the Solemn Process brought be- 
fore us, by virtue of the Apostolic mandate 
addressed to us, and by us respectfully ac- 


In the case concerning the honest woman, 
Widow Isabelle d'Arc, mother, Pierre and 
Jean d'Arc, brothers german, natural and 
legal, of the deceased Jeanne d'Arc, of good 
memory, commonly called the Maid: 

The said case brought in their name; 

Against the Sub-Inquisitor of the Heretical 
Evil for the Diocese of Beauvais, the Promoter 
of the officiality of the said Diocese of Beau- 
vais, and also the Reverend Father in Christ 
and Lord William de Hellende, Bishop of 
Beauvais, and against all others and each in 
particular who might be thought to be therein 
interested, all together respectively Defend- 
ants, as well conjointly as separately : 

Having seen, in the first place, the peremp- 
tory citation and the execution of this cita- 
tion made against the said Defendants, at the 
request not only of the said Plaintiffs but of 
the Promoter of our offlce, appointed by us, 
sworn and created; to the end that the said 
Defendants might see the carrying out of the 
said Rescript, hear the conclusions against 
them, and answer themselves; and to proceed, 
in one word, according to right ; 

Having seen the request of the said Plain- 
tiffs, their deeds, reasons, and conclusions set 
down in writing under the form of Articles, 
putting forward a declaration of nullity, of 


iniquity, and of cozenage against a certain 
Process in a pretended Trial for the Faith, for- 
merly done and executed in this city against 
the above named woman, now deceased, by the 
late Lord Pierre Cauchon, then Bishop of 
Beauvais, Jean Lemaitre, then Vice Inquisitor 
of the said Dioces6 of Beauvais, and Jean d'Es- 
tivet, Promoter, or having at least acted in 
this capacity; 

The said request putting forward and infer- 
ring further the breaking down and annulling 
of the Process in question and of all which fol- 
lowed it, to the justification of the said 
Deceased, and to all other ends therein enu- 
merated : 

Having seen, read, re-read and examined the 
original books, instruments, means, acts, notes 
and protocols of the said Process, shown and 
sent to us, in virtue of the compulsory letters, 
by the Registrars and others whose signa- 
tures and writings have been, as a preliminary, 
acknowledged in our presence: 

Having studied at length all these docu- 
ments, not only with the said Registrars and 
other officials appointed in the said Process, 
but also with those of the Councillors who were 
called to the same Process, those, at least, 
,whom we have been able to bring before us : 

Having ourselves collated and compared the 


final text with the Minute itself of the said 
Process : 

Having considered also the Preparatory En- 
quiries — first, those which were conducted by 
the Most Reverend Father in Christ, the Lord 
Guillaume, Cardinal Priest, under the title of 
Saint-Martin-Les-Monets, then Legate of the 
Holy Apostolic See in the Kingdom of France, 
assisted by the Inquisitor, after the examina- 
tion which had been made by the said Cardinal 
Legate of the books and instruments then 
presented : 

Having afterwards considered the Prepara- 
tory Enquiry conducted at the beginning of the 
actual Process by us or our Commissaries: 

Having considered also divers treatises 
which had come from the Prelates, Doctors, 
and men of learning, the most celebrated and 
the most authorized, who, after having studied 
at length the books and instruments of the 
said Process, have separated from these books 
and instruments the doubtful points which 
they would have to elucidate in their said 
treatises composed afterwards and brought to 
light, whether by the order of the Most Rev- 
erend Father aforesaid or by us : 

Having considered the Articles and Interro- 
gations to be submitted to the witnesses, pre- 
sented to us, in the name of the Plaintiffs and 


of our Promoter, and after many citations ad- 
mitted in proof by us : 

Having considered the depositions and at- 
testations of tlie witnesses heard on the sub- 
ject of the said Articles and Interrogations 
on the life of the said Deceased in the place of 
her birth — on her departure; on her examina- 
tion before several Prelates, Doctors, and 
others having knowledge thereof, in presence 
notably of the Most Reverend Father Reginald, 
then Archbishop of Rheims and Metropolitan 
of the said Bishopric of Beauvais ; an examina- 
tion made at Poitiers, and elsewhere, on 
several occasions; on the marvelous deliver- 
ance of the City of Orleans ; on the journey to 
the City of Rheims and the Coronation of the 
King; and the divers circumstances of the 
Trial, the qualifications, the judges, the man- 
ner of proceeding: 

In the first place we say and, because justice 
requires it, we declare that the Articles begin- 
ning with the words " a woman," which are 
found inserted in the pretended Process and 
Instrument of the pretended sentences, lodged 
against the said Deceased, ought to have been, 
have been and are, extracted from the Process 
and the said pretended Confessions of the said 
Deceased, with corruption, cozenage, calumny, 
fraud and malice: 


We declare, that on certain points the truth 
of her Confessions has been passed over in 
silence; that on other points her confessions 
have been falsely translated — a double un- 
faithfulness, by which, had it been prevented, 
the mind of the Doctors consulted and the 
judges might have been led to a different 
opinion : 

We declare, that in these Articles there have 
been added without right many aggravating 
circumstances, which are not in the aforesaid 
Confessions, and many circumstances both 
relevant and justifying have been passed over 
in silence: 

We declare, that even the form of certain 
words has been altered, in such manner as to 
change the substance: 

For the which, the same Articles, as falsely, 
calumniously and deceitfully extracted, and 
as contrary even to the confessions of the 
Accused, we break, annihilate and annul ; and 
after they shall have been detached from the 
Process we ordain, by this present judgment, 
that they be torn up : 

In the second place, after having examined 
with great care the other parts of the same 
said Process — particularly the two sentences 
which the Process contained, designated by 
the Judges as " Lapse " and " Relapse " — 


and after having also for a long time weighed 
the qualifications of the Judges and of all 
those under whom and in wliose keeping the 
said Jeanne was detained : 

We say, pronounce, decree and declare, the 
said Processes and Sentences full of cozenage, 
iniquity, inconsequences, and manifest errors, 
in fact as well as in law : 

We say that they have been, are, and shall 
be— as well as the aforesaid Abjuration, their 
execution and all that followed — null, non- 
existent, without value or effect. 

Nevertheless in so far as is necessary, and 
as reason doth command us, we break them, 
annihilate them, annul them, and declare them 
void of effect : 

And we declare that the said Jeanne and 
her relatives. Plaintiffs in the Actual Process, 
have not on account of the said trial, con- 
tracted nor incurred any mark or stigma of 
infamy : 

We declare them quit and purged of all the 
consequences of these same Processes: 

We declare them, in so far as is necessary, 
entirely purged thereof by this present : 

We ordain that the execution and solemn 
publication of our present Sentence stiall take 
place immediately in this City in two different 
places, to wit : 


To-day in the Square of St. Ouen, after a 
General Procession and a public sermon. 
To-morrow, at the old Market Place, in the 
same place where the said Jeanne was suffo- 
cated by a cruel and horrible fire, also with a 
General Preaching and with the placing of a 
handsome Cross for the perpetual memory of 
the Deceased and for her salvation and that 
of other deceased persons: 

We declare that we reserve to ourselves 
[the power] later on to execute, publish, and 
for the honor of her memory to signify with 
acclaim, our said sentence in the cities and 
other well-known places of the Kingdom when- 
ever we shall find it well so to do, under the 
reserves, finally, of all the other formalities 
which may yet remain to be done. 

[All of which was duly attested as follows :] 

This present Sentence hath been brought 
out, read, and promulgated by the Lords 
Judges, in presence of the Reverend Father in 
Christ the Lord Bishop of Demetriuide, of 
Hector de Coquerel, Nicholas du Bois, Alain 
Olivier, Jean du Bee, Jean de Gouys, Guil- 
laime Roussel, Laurent Surreau, Canons; of 
Martin Ladvenu, Jean Roussel, and Thomas 
de Fanouilleres. 


Maitre Simon Chapitault, Promoter; Jean 
d'Arc and Prevosteau for the other Plaintiffs. 

Done at Rouen in the Archiepiscopal Palace, 
in the year of our Lord 1456, the 7th day of the 
month of June. 

This was done, the whole population of 
Rouen and adjacent towns doing all in their 
power to add to the solemnity of the two days' 
reversal of the dreadful scenes of the two 
days, twenty-five years before. The cross 
they erected in the place of her martyrdom 
became a place of pilgrimage, and around its 
foot the youth of France were taught the 
glories of old France, the shameful century of 
her fall into English hands, and her splendid 
and speedy rescue from English domination 
by the Maid sent by Heaven and aided by St. 
Michael the Archangel and St. Catherine and 
St. Margaret. 

This Cross after a hundred years was re- 
placed by a fountain around a beautiful statue 
of Joan of Arc surmounted by a cross. This 
was again replaced in 1756, by the magnificent 
fountain that at present marks the spot 
whence Joan's pure soul ascended to Heaven. 

We know now what Joan in her last sad 
days did not know, that her career was under- 
stood and appreciated by the Church of 
France, and while a schismatic bishop and a 


few pnbsidized clerical tools were sending her 
to a disgraced and disgraceful death, she was 
being prayed for aflfectionately by bishops and 
priests all over France. 

That Joan was recognized by the clergy and 
people of France as a holy woman as well as 
a patriot, there is ample evidence. Notably 
are a Collect, a Secret prayer and a Post 
Communion used in the Masses of the day. 
The Collect is as follows: 

" O Almighty and Eternal God, who through 
Thy holy and ineffable clemency, and by the 
wonderful strength of Thy arm, hast raised 
up a young virgin for the glory and welfare 
of France, for the expulsion, confusion and 
ruin of our enemies; and who hast permitted, 
in the fulfillment of the mission which Thou 
hast confided to her, that she should fall into 
the hands of those enemies; grant to our 
prayers that through the intercession of the 
ever blessed Virgin Mary, and of all of the 
Saints, we may behold her escape in safety 
from their power, that she may continue to 
execute Thy formal commands." 

The secret prayer in the Mass reads : 

" O Father of virtues and Almighty God, 
may Thy holy benediction descend on this 
oblation; may it excite Thy miraculous 
power; and through the intercession of the 


Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints, may it 
preserve and deliver the Maid now confined in 
the prison of our enemies and may it enable 
her to perform effectively the work which 
Thou hast ordained." 

The Post Communion reads : 

" O Almighty God, hearken to the prayers of 
Thy people, and through the sacraments which 
we have received and through the intercession 
of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints, 
break the chains of the Maid who, while per- 
forming the deeds enjoined by Thee has been 
shut up in the prison of our enemies. Through 
Thy divine compassion and mercy grant that 
she may accomplish in safety the mission 
which Thou hast entrusted to her." 

No better status could be given any human 
being than such a personal commemoration in 
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, even though 
circumscribed as to place and time. 

It is a curious coincidence that the great 
Shakespeare, who did not at all understand or 
properly characterize Joan of Arc, should put 
the prophetic words into the mouth of Charles 
VII.: "Joan, the Maid, shall be France's 


The Beatification of Joan of Arc by Pius X. " Joan of 
Arc shall be France's Saint. 

In 1841 the Historical Society of France 
resolved upon the publication of the Trials 
of the condemnation and rehabilitation of 
Joan of Arc, which M. Jules Quicherat had 
transcribed from the original manuscripts 
preserved in the National Library in Paris. 
The publication was completed in 1849, in five 
volumes. Thenceforward writers had authen- 
tic documents upon which to rely. 

In 1869, Mgr. Dupanloup, Bishop of Or- 
leans, with two Cardinals and ten Bishops 
signed a suplica to Pius IX, praying for the 
introduction of the Cause of Beatification. 

The war of 1870 interrupted the proceedings. 
In 1874 the inquiry was resumed; and, after 
thirty-six sittings, the result of the labors of 
the Diocesan Tribunal was presented to the 
Sacred Congregation of Rites in February, 
1876, by Mgr. Dupanloup. Mgr. Coullie, the 
successor of Mgr. Dupanloup in the see of 
Orleans, instituted a second inquiry in 1885, 
and a third one in 1887. On January 27, 


1894, Leo XIII signed the "Introduction of 
the Cause", by which the cause of Joan of 
Arc was summoned before the Tribunal of the 
Pope, and she was thus accorded the title of 
" Venerable." 

The Holy See then commissioned the Bishop 
of Orleans to hold three inquiries: (1) " de 
non-culta"; (2) on the heroic virtues alleged 
to have been practised by Joan of Arc; and 
(3) on miracles alleged to have been worked 
through her intercession. 

The inquiry on the heroic virtues began in 
1896; 122 sittings were held, and twenty wit- 
nesses were examined. The inquiry was 
closed on November 22, 1897; and, in a folio 
volume of about 2,000 pages, the proceedings 
were presented to the Sacred Congregation of 
Eites by the Bishop of Orleans. Thencefor- 
ward the Cause was immediately before the 
Holy See. 

An important question was raised at the 
very beginning of the Cause in 1894, namely, 
what documents should be admitted as being 
evidence in the Cause; and it was determined 
that the Trials of Condemnation and of Re- 
habilitation being records of sworn testimony 
on oath were admissible. 

The next point was whether the volumes of 
Quicherat were a faithful transcription of the 


original manuscripts. These documents had 
already been carefully collated by enthusiastic 
and competent students; and, upon sworn 
declaration that Quicherat's transcription cor- 
responded with the original manuscripts, his 
published volumes of the two trials were ad- 
mitted as evidence in the Cause. 

This declaration, however, did not go so far 
as to determine the value of every statement 
contained in those Trials; it only declared 
that the printed volumes corresponded with 
the manuscripts. Hence the value as evidence 
of the various portions of the Trials was left as 
debatable in each case. 

This is a matter of great importance, and it 
must be carefully borne in mind in relation to 
the three chief objections which have been 
made against the sanctity of Joan of Arc. 

The Maid is recorded in the trial of con- 
demnation to have objected to the minutes 
of the Trial as they were written down at the 
time by the clerks of the Court. 

" You write down," she said, " what is 
against me, but you do not write down what 
is in my favor." 

If the Evidence given in the Trial of Reha- 
bilitation may be thought by some persons to 
be at times over favorable, there is no doubt 
that the Trial of Condemnation is to be read 


with caution as being recorded with a bias 
against the prisoner. 

Secondly, the inquiry held on June 7, eight 
days after the death of the Maid, is of alto- 
gether questionable veracity, and the clerks 
of the Court refused to append their signatures 
to it — an act which they would not have dared 
to have dgne on previous occasions. 

It is after giving their relative value to the 
various statements as to Joan of Arc's attemp- 
ted escape from prison, her alleged recan- 
tation and her pretended denial of her Voices 
that we are able to come to the unhesitating 
conclusion that the accusation that her en- 
deavor to escape was an attempt to commit 
suicide is false, that she did not make a re- 
cantation on the scaffold at St. Ouen, and that 
she never did otherwise than assert that her 
Voices were from God. 

Seven alleged miracles were presented to 
the Holy See. Four were from the diocese of 
Orleans, one from that of Nancy, one from the 
diocese of Evruex, and one from the diocese 
of Arras. Four were set aside for various 
reasons. Three were admitted. 


Sister Teresa of Saint Augustine, a Bene- 
dictine Nun of Orleans, was attacked in De- 


cember, 1897, by acute pains in the stomach- 
These increased continually, accompanied by 
frequent sickness, till in May, 1900, she had 
vomitings of blood so exhausting that she 
appeared to be almost dead. 

From that time forward she never left her 
bed. The vomitings became of daily and 
almost of constant recurrence. She was in 
the dilemma of choking if she took any food, 
or of dying of starvation if she did not. 

The doctor expected her speedy death. Under 
these conditions a novena to Joan of Arc was 
begun on July 30, 1900. The vomitings of 
blood continued almost incessantly. On 
August 6 they were more frequent than ever. 
In the night of the 6th to the 7th, there was 
a crisis of weakness and of syncope. On the 
7th the vomitings were renewed. 

On the evening of August 7, at the height 
of the crisis. Sister Teresa asks for her habit, 
saying that she will get up the next day, as she 
will be cured. The Sisters in attendance say 
to one another, " Get her habit, it will do for 
her burial." 

Meanwhile Sister Teresa fell asleep till two 
o'clock in the morning. At the sound of the 
bell for Matins she wanted to rise. She was 
told to remain quiet till half-past five, and 
she obeyed. 


At half-past five, on the morning of August 
8, she dressed herself, went down to the chapel, 
and prayed with her arms extended in the 
form of a cross, received Holy Communion, 
dined with the community on the ordinary 
fare, and suffered no inconvenience whatever. 
Since that time the perfect and instantane- 
ous cure has been fully substantiated by sub- 
sequent experience. 


Sister Julie Gauthier, of Favrolles in the 
diocese of Evruex, had suffered for fifteen 
years from a cancerous ulcer in the left breast. 
One day as she was speaking to her class of 
children about Joan of Arc, the idea occurred 
to her of making a novena to the Maid, for 
she had laid aside all hope of cure by natural 

But her sufferings were so great that she 
feared she would be unable to make a novena 
of nine days' prayer in succession. 

She bethought herself then of a plan by 
which the novena might be promptly con- 
cluded. She would take eight of the children 
of her class, she herself would make the ninth, 
and they would go together and say the 
prayers for her recovery at one single visit to 
the church. 


To gather children around her, and to go 
with them to pray or to receive the Holy 
Sacraments, was one of the delights of Joan of 
Arc. She would do likewise. 

They went; and then and there Sister Julie, 
who with diflflculty had been able to go so far 
as the church, returned from it in full vigor. 
The wound was closed, and Sister Julie was 
perfectly and permanently cured. 


Marie Sagnier, of Fruges in the diocese of 
Arras, a nun of the congregation of the Holy 
Family, had suffered for three months from 
ulcers and abscesses in both legs. The disease 
was diagnosed as being one of tuberculous 
affection of the flesh and bones. 

She made a novena to Joan of Arc. On the 
morning of the fifth day the bandages had 
become loose, the inflammation had dis- 
appeared, the ulcers and the wounds had 
healed, the bones had become firm, and Marie 
Sagnier had regained her former vigor, which 
has been maintained ever since. 

On May 8, 1869, was signed the first petition 
to the Holy See for the " Introduction of the 
Cause of Beatification." 

On January 27, 1894, Leo XIII. signed the 


decree authorizing the " Introduction of the 
Cause ". 

On January 27, 1894, Leo XIII signed the 
decree declaring the heroicity of the virtues prac- 
tised by Joan of Arc. 

On December 13, 1908, the decree concerning 
the miracles was promulgated in the presence 
of the Holy Father; and on January 24, 1909, 
Pius X declared that the solemn beatification 
of Joan of Arc might be proceeded with. 

On April 18, 1909, in the presence of fifty 
thousand people, thirty thousand of whom 
were French men and women, who had jour- 
neyed to Rome on purpose, Pius X proclaimed, 
with all the splendid solemnity with which the 
Church vests herself on suca occasion, that 
Joan of Arc be hereafter called BLESSED, 
and exhorted the faithful to seek her inter- 
cession, who, as she lives in the hearts of the 
French people, continues also to repeat in 
heaven the prayer " Great God of nations, 
Save France ! " 


As this volume goes to press word comes 
from Rome that the cause of the canonization 
of Blessed Joan of Arc is to be reopened by 
the Sacred Congregation of Rites, who have 
under consideration two recent miracles at- 
tributed to the Blessed Joan's intercession. 

It seems certain that she will be proclaimed 
shortly, Saint Joan of Arc. Meanwhile the 
Congregation has approved an OflQce and Mass 
for her Feast, on the Sunday after Ascension, 
as a " double major " for all France, and for 
Orleans, Rheims, and Rouen as a " double of 
the second class," because of her special con- 
nection with these cities. Also it is hoped that 
she will be as " Virgin and Martyr " her final 
title to sanctity will be established. " St Joan 
of Arc Virgin and Martyr." God speed the 
day. It will be a great one for France.